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No franchise tag for Jeremy Maclin from Eagles as NFL deadline passes

The latest on the Jeremy Maclin situation.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL's window for teams to designate players with the franchise tag has officially closed. A few players around the league received the tag, such as Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

The Philadelphia Eagles confirmed that they have decided not to use the tag on impending free agent wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (or one of their other free agents). This doesn't come as a complete surprise. The 26-year-old wasn't strongly considered to be a tag candidate, though it was an option.

If Maclin had received the tag, it would have guaranteed his status as a member of the Eagles through at least the 2015 season. The one-year tender was projected to be worth at least $12.71 million, which is costly. All of that money is fully guaranteed.

With no tag in place, the Eagles have until free agency begins on March 10 to prevent Maclin from becoming a free agent. It's also worth noting teams can start talking to Maclin's agent, Tom Condon, as soon as Saturday, March 7. That's when the "legal tampering" window begins.

Recent reports indicate that Maclin and the Eagles "aren't significantly far apart" on a long-term extension. Time will tell if both sides can get a deal done before Maclin hits the open market.

The fact that the Eagles didn't tag him could be viewed as a positive. Perhaps the team didn't feel they needed to use it. If negotiations take a turn for a worse, however, Maclin could always just try to test the open market and leave Philadelphia in free agency.

It doesn't seem like there's major cause for concern yet. But the clock is ticking.

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