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NFL Free Agency: Only 8 players given franchise tag

Free agency is just around the corner. The tagging time having passed is yet another step closer to the madness.

The Monday, 4 p.m. Eastern time deadline to "tag" players has come and gone. Only eight were made franchise players this year. A season ago, there were 21. Bradley Wells runs down what it means to be tagged as a franchise player and who was in fact tagged this year.

What is more notable is who was not tagged. The Arizona Cardinals did not use the franchise tag, but that was not unexpected considering their two most notable free agents were reserves a season ago. However, some big names are likely going to become free agents -- Ed Reed, Greg Jennings, Jared Cook, Wes Welker (maybe), Jake Long and others.

What changed this offseason that kept teams from locking up their best players for another year? Was it their cap situations? Are teams trying to get younger? Are they trying to use the tag less? Or do they think that they will still get their players back and prefer to have the cap flexibility at the start of free agency?

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