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Packers Decline To Use Franchise Tag

GREEN BAY, WI (LEARFIELD-WSAU) For the fourth year in a row, the Green Bay Packers did not use their franchise or transition tags to keep any of their impending free agents.

 That means they'll let corner Sam Shields and defensive lineman B-J Raji shop for other teams when the free-agent signing period begins a week from today.  The deadline was yesterday for N-F-L teams to use their franchise and transition tags to keep their top free agents for at least one more year.

 Shields' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said over the weekend that his client will test the market.  Media reports from yesterday said Raji would do the same, due to a lack of progress on contract talks with the Packers.

 It would have been expensive for the Packers to use the franchise-or-transition tags on either player.  They would have had to pay Shields 10-to-12 million dollars for this season, and Raji 8-to-10 million.

 Both are starters, and both played key roles in Green Bay's Super Bowl championship team during the 2010 season.