Monday is the first day that NFL teams can designate franchise and transition players for the 2015-16 season. This year, there are multiple big-name players who could wind up getting the tag, from Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant or DeMarco Murray, Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston, Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and many more.
Prior to the 2014-15 season, many preseason lists of players who could wind up being franchised this offseason contained multiple San Francisco 49ers players. Those lists often included left guard Mike Iupati and wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Both of those guys have been big contributors for San Francisco in the past, but Crabtree isn't coming off his best season and is in no way worth top-five receiver money. Then there's Iupati, who is a valuable guard, but the franchise tag is not split among offensive linemen, meaning offensive tackles and centers increase the value above what is typically worth it for a guard.
San Francisco's interior line setup isn't settled for next year. The team drafted Brandon Thomas last season, but he spent the season on injured reserve and there's no telling what he'll be able to contribute. Then there's Joe Looney, Daniel Kilgore and Marcus Martin, which doesn't look too bad -- the 49ers should be able to find a left guard and a center from that lot.
As far as receivers go, San Francisco is hurting at the position. Anquan Boldin can't stick around for much longer and Stevie Johnson has a prohibitive cap number, but giving Crabtree about double that wouldn't solve anything. It never felt like he lived up to expectations, despite showing flashes of the talent that made him a first-round pick.
So yeah -- it's not going to happen. The 49ers won't use the franchise tag this offseason, unless they seem to think that they can get a long-term deal done with somebody and they need the extra time. The franchise tag deadline is March 2, but teams have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with tagged players. Wooh for watching things from the sidelines!