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Franchise Tags May Dull Free Agency

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Tampering in the NFL was as omnipresent as ever at the scouting combine. There was just one important difference: When it came to naming prices, there was far more hedging than usual.

With free agency set to begin March 13 rather than the years when it started closer to March 1, many teams were much more reluctant to show their hands this year. As one agent put it: “Everybody is hinting at big numbers, but they’re just not saying them straight out. It used to be you could draw up the parameters of a deal, like when the Redskins did the [Albert] Haynesworth deal [in 2009]. This year, it’s a lot more cloak-and-dagger.”

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