The deadline for the San Diego Chargers to use their franchise tag on one of their impending Unrestricted Free Agents is over right about................ now. The team, and its new General Manager Tom Telesco, did not use the franchise tag on any of the players that could possibly be leaving the team.
The franchise tag, for those that are unaware, can be used by a team to keep a player from entering Free Agency. It essentially amounts to a 1 year extension being added onto their contract, but it pays them the average of the Top 5 salaries in the league for their position. For instance, the Indianapolis Colts used their franchise tag on Punter Pat McAfee. This means that McAfee will be a Colt in 2013, and will be paid the average 2013 salary of the 5 highest paid Punters in the league.
The franchise tag is mostly used to keep superstars from leaving a team that hasn't been able to negotiate a long-term deal with them yet, but intends to. It buys time and keeps there from being too much turnover from year to year.
The San Diego Chargers have a good amount of Unrestricted Free Agents this offseason, but you'd be hard-pressed to call any of them "superstars". Therefore, nobody expected the Chargers to use their franchise tag and indeed they did not. Carry on with your day.