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NFL Franchise tag window opens today, some top players look to come off market

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

One of the first key offseason dates has arrived. Today is the first day teams may begin placing the franchise tag on those players they wish to keep off the market. This window lasts a couple weeks and the deadline is March 2.

While the Raiders appear unlikely to place the franchise tag on any of their players, which players do receive the tag across the league will affect the free agent class and the Raiders expect to be players in free agency with what could be over $60 million to spend.

According to figures by Spotrac.com, the players most likely to  receive a franchise tag from their respective teams are as follows:

Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
Justin Houston, OLB, Kansas City Chiefs
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
Devin McCourty, S, New England Patriots
Jason Pierre Paul, DE, New York Giants

If this is correct, it would remove several players the Raiders would have some significant interest. It would mean the top two receivers are off the board which would also raise the demand for those receivers remaining on the market.

Defensive end and safety are also positions the Raiders could be looking at and having Devin McCourty and JPP receive the franchise tag would make the prospects a bit slimmer.