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Only 8 franchise tags used

Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd flexes his

Buffalo Bills free safety Jairus Byrd flexes his muscles during an AFC photo session for the Pro Bowl at a resort in Kapolei, Hawaii on Jan. 25, 2013. Credit: AP

All 32 teams have the option to use the franchise tag on a designated player - all but assuring that player would be with his respective team for at least the 2013 season - but only eight teams opted to use it. 

The Giants and Jets opted not to. 

Here's a look at who used the tag: 

* The Bills used it on ball-hawking safety Jairus Byrd. 

* The Bengals used it on defensive end Michael Johnson. 

* The Colts used it on veteran punter Pat McAfee. 

* The Bears used it on defensive tackle Henry Melton, a rising star along the defensive line. 

* The Broncos used it on All Pro left tackle Ryan Clady. 

* The Dolphins used it on defensive tackle Randy Starks. 

* The Cowboys used it on linebacker Anthony Spencer, who will play defensive end in the 4-3 alignment being employed by new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

* The Chiefs used it on reliable left tackle Branden Albert. 

Among the players who did not receive the franchise tag and are thus able to negotiate with any teams as unrestricted free agents: Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, 49ers safety Dashon Goldson, Dolphins tackle Jake Long, Steelers receiver Mike Wallace, Jets tight end Dustin Keller, and Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings. 

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