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Patriots opt not to hit anyone with franchise tag

03.04.13 at 4:35 pm ET

The deadline for the franchise tag came and went Monday afternoon without the Patriots using it on any one of their available players, which means wide receiver Wes Welker, right tackle Sebastian Vollmer and cornerback Aqib Talib — New England’s top three possibilities to be tagged — have between now and March 12 (the start of free agency) to work out a new deal with the Patriots or hit the open market.

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