Originally posted on Thoughts from the Dark Side  |  Last updated 3/6/12

Although the Raiders announced they were going to place the franchise tag on safety Tyvon Branch late last week, the official paperwork didn't go through until yesterday afternoon, shortly before the 4 PM deadline.

It capped off a wild day in which more than half the league franchised someone on their team that otherwise would have gone to Unrestricted Free Agency.

When the dust settled, 21 teams had put the franchise tag on one of their players.  Legs were the most important body part of the day as 5 kickers and 1 punter received the franchise designation.

The complete list, by position, is here:

K – Phil Dawson (CLE), Mike Nugent (Cin), Josh Scobee (Jax), Matt Prater (Den), Conner Barth (TB)
S – Tyvon Branch (Oak), Dashon Goldson (SF), Michael Griffin (TN)
DL - Cliff Avril (Det), Calais Campbell (AZ), Robert Mathis (Colts)
WR – DeSean Jackson, Wes Welker (NE), Dwayne Bowe (KC)
RB – Ray Rice (Balt), Matt Forte (Chi)
CB –Brent Grimes (ATL)
LB – Anthony Spencer (DAL)
TE - Fred Davis (Wash)
QB - Drew Brees (NO)
P – Steve Weatherford

Most teams are working on long-term contracts with their players.  One of the players franchised, Robert Mathis, was so close to a contract that it was initially announced they had come to an agreement and he would not be franchised.  However, they didn't get everything officially agreed by the deadline, so the Colts filed the necessary paperwork to secure his services and announced a 4 year deal with Mathis late yesterday.

While the Raiders didn't announce whether Tyvon Branch would be an exclusive or non-exclusive franchis player, it's likely he was tendered with the non-exclusive tag.  This means that he can still negotiate with other teams, should he choose, as well as the Raiders.  However, if he comes to terms with another team, that team would owe the Raiders compensation.

The non-exclusive tender costs much lower than the exclusive designation.  The non-exclusive tender is believed to be around $6.2 million for this season.  The exclusive designation will cost the average of the top 5 salaries at that position.

You can follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews

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