Jags franchise tag Marcedes Lewis

Updated: February 24, 2011, 10:33 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars have placed a franchise tag on Pro Bowl tight end Marcedes Lewis.

The Jaguars and Lewis will continue to negotiate a long-term deal, but the non-exclusive tag essentially assures both sides at least another season together.

For now, they have until the end of the day on March 3 to agree on a contract. That's when the current collective bargaining agreement expires, ending all negotiations.

Lewis led the Jaguars with 10 touchdowns last season and had 58 receptions for 700 yards. Lewis also tied the Chargers' Antonio Gates for the NFL season-high among tight ends with his 10 scores.

Lewis, drafted 28th overall in the 2006 draft, became the first tight end in Jaguars history to be selected for a Pro Bowl, earning the honor last season.

The non-exclusive tag means Lewis can negotiate with other teams. But any team signing him would have to give the Jaguars two first-round draft picks as compensation if Jacksonville chose not to match the offer.

The deadline for teams to use franchise and transition tags is Thursday. The players' union has questioned the validity of franchise and transition tags with the current collective bargaining agreement set to expire.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.