Two tags that are not likely to come today should be of particular interest to the Bears, as they are among the best cornerbacks expected to be available in free agency:
— Jay Skurski (@JaySkurski) February 28, 2017
Texans not expected to use franchise tag on standout CB A.J. Bouye, per source. Doesn't mean they won't re-sign him; just no tag.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 1, 2017
We’ve discussed each of Bouye and Gilmore before, and, given the Bears’ needs in the secondary and available cap room, each could make sense as a free agent target. The two are ranked as the top cornerbacks on PFT’s top 100 free agent list.
Just as the Bears could still sign Alshon Jeffery to a deal before free agency opens up on March 9, though, the Bills and Texans have interest in retaining their own talent. We’ll see what happens over the next week, as the free agent picture comes into greater focus.
UPDATE: Looks like a couple quality defensive linemen will avoid the tag, too:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 1, 2017
Like Bouye and Gilmore, Poe and Williams are the top two available free agent defensive tackles to PFT, so that’ll help the free agent market.