Top Five: NFL players who received franchise tags

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NFL,John Keim

Only eight players received the franchise tag Monday, none of whom play for the Redskins. Here's a look at five prominent players:

5. Anthony Spencer, Dallas » The Cowboys are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3, which means Spencer likely will be a defensive end this season. He recorded 11 sacks in 2012 but has made his name as a run stopper and complement to DeMarcus Ware. Spencer was a defensive end at Purdue. His tag number is $10.627 million.

4. Michael Johnson, Cincinnati » He's a risky player to get the tag. Johnson is an athletic defensive end who had a breakout season in 2012 with 11.5 sacks, but his previous high was six. So was last year the start of something big, or was he playing for a big offer? His tag number is $11.175 million.

3. Jairus Byrd, Buffalo » The safety would have been pursued by many had the Bills left him unprotected. He's a ballhawk who intercepted five passes in 2012 and made the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement. He made $1.1 million last year; he will make $6.9 million with the tag.

2. Henry Melton, Chicago » It's imperative teams try to collapse the pocket with the emphasis on quick passes by many teams. That's what Melton does, and it's why the Bears deemed him this important. He's only 26 and has 15.5 career sacks. He'll get $8.45 million this season.

1. Ryan Clady, Denver » The Broncos' All-Pro left tackle hasn't missed a game in his five seasons. Clady, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, is recovering from surgery on his right shoulder. Last summer he rejected a five-year, $50 million contract with $28 million guaranteed. He will make $9.828 million this season.

- John Keim

jkeim@washingtonexaminer.com

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John Keim

Staff Reporter - Washington Redskins
The Washington Examiner