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Chandler Jones hit with franchise tag, others expected

Arizona Cardinals v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Update: defensive tackle Kawann Short has been tagged by the Carolina Panthers, per Adam Schefter.

Update 2: And now Jason Pierre-Paul has been tagged, per Pro Football Talk.

Right now, the 2017 NFL free agency looks like it’s full of top-end players. When free agency opens in two weeks, that will no longer be true. Case in point:

Chandler Jones was going to be the top edge rusher on the market, which is exactly why the Arizona Cardinals were never likely to let him go. That’s true for most, though not all, of the top free agents every year.

Even those who probably won’t be tagged, like Eric Berry, could easily be re-signed in the days leading up to free agency. Deadlines usually instill some urgency and lead to agents and teams getting things done so players can stay where they’re at, while still being compensated handsomely.

All of that makes planning for free agency a little harder on teams looking for new players, like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No Chandler Jones for them, and perhaps a few other players they’re looking at now will come off the market before it opens on March 7.

And per Adam Schefter, that’s going to be true for a lot of players.