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49ers Opt to Not Use Franchise Tag Ahead of Deadline

The 1 p.m. PT deadline has come and gone as the San Francisco 49ers opted to not utilize the franchise tag. A club can designate one "franchise" player or one "transition" player among its veteran free agents. And on Tuesday, the league closed the window on a team's ability to designate that player.

San Francisco heads into the start of the new league year with 28 players with expiring contracts, and per general manager John Lynch at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, the 49ers brass is working hard to retain a number of their key playmakers.

For a full list of San Francisco's pending free agents, check out the 49ers 2022 Free Agency Tracker.

Under San Francisco's current regime, the 49ers have rarely opted to tag a pending free agent, with the lone occurrence coming in 2019 as the team placed the franchise tag on kicker Robbie Gould.

Four months later, ahead of the league-wide deadline to sign a franchise player to a multi-year contract or extension, the 49ers signed Gould to a four-year contract extension through the 2022 season.

With the deadline in the rear view, clubs can begin contacting and entering into contract negotiations with the agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2021 player contracts at 9:00 a.m. PT on March 14 with free agency and the new league year officially beginning on Wednesday, March 16 at 1 p.m. PT.

Here's a list of players who were designated as non-exclusive franchise players ahead of Tuesday's deadline:

S Jessie Bates III (Cincinnati Bengals)

TE David Njoku (Cleveland Browns)

TE Dalton Schultz (Dallas Cowboys)

WR Davante Adams (Green Bay Packers)

OT Cam Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars)

OT Orlando Brown (Kansas City Chiefs)

TE Mike Gesicki (Miami Dolphins)

WR Chris Godwin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)


To read more about the league's top 25 free agents, their free agency status, along with a note on their production in 2021, visit's 2022 Free Agent Primer.

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