The Patriots have declined to use the franchise- and transition-tag options for any of their 12 free agents, including cornerback Aqib Talib and wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Had the Patriots opted to use the popular franchise tag, Talib would've cost them $11.834 million this upcoming season. Had Edelman been franchised, the Patriots would've had to pay the six-year veteran $12.312 million.
Those kind of gaudy numbers probably scared off the Patriots, even after an almost 10 percent increase in the salary cap to $133 million.
The Patriots reportedly were already in negotiations with Talib at the NFL Scouting Combine, and continued negotiations would work in the team's favor for long-term cap space. Talib is largely considered one of the top free agents on the market after his first full season with New England.