"WhitePatriots News Opinion and Analysis Contribute! FanPostsFanShotsAbout the Site List of Patriots Twitter AccountsWrite For Pats Pulpit!New User Welcome and Commenting GuideCommunity GuidelinesMastheadTopics Patriots Off-Season CoveragePatriots Opinion/AnalysisPatriots NewsPatriots Draft CoverageSportfolio ManagementNFL Free AgencyPatriots Opinion/AnalysisPatriots Free Agency Coverage2019 NFL free agency: What happens next Color Rush Chase Winovich Jersey , now that the Patriots have not tagged Trey Flowers and Trent Brown?New,22commentsNo Patriots free agent received the franchise tag.ESTShareTweetShareShare2019 NFL free agency: What happens next, now that the Patriots have not tagged Trey Flowers and Trent Brown?Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY SportsThe NFL’s franchise tag window came to a close yesterday, and the New England Patriots did not use it to keep one of their players from hitting the open market. Consequently, 17 members of the team’s 2018 championship squad are now scheduled to become unrestricted free agents once the new league year starts next week — a group that includes Trey Flowers and Trent Brown, New England’s top-two free agents.Let’s take a look ahead at what this means for the two standouts and the Patriots, and what some of the next steps are.Patriots’ cap space doesn’t changePlacing the tag on either of the two players would have been tied to a massive financial burden: the non-exclusive franchise tag for Trey Flowers would have cost the club $17.128 million, in Brown’s case it would still have hit the team’s books with $14.067 million. Considering that New England has around $24.3 million available right now, opting to not use the tag is not that surprising a move from the franchise’s perspective.Extension before free agencyWhile New England did not use the franchise or transition tags to keep Flowers and Brown from hitting unrestricted free agency, there is a chance — albeit a small one — that they won’t do just that after all. With the market not opening until March 13, 4:00 pm ET, the Patriots are still in a position to potentially reach an agreement with one or both of the two starters until then. Furthermore, for the next four days, the world champions still have exclusive negotiating rights with Flowers’ and Brown’s camps.Legal tampering periodAfter those four days, the NFL’s legal tampering period begins. At that point Youth Chase Winovich Jersey , teams’ exclusive negotiating rights get lifted as all 32 clubs can start talking to pending free agents. While no new contracts can be signed just yet — except by the organization still holding a player’s rights — the basic outlines of a potential deal can already be discussed and formally agreed to.If the Patriots have not yet re-signed their top free agents by then, the duo and the club should get a clearer picture of how the market might develop. Flowers and Brown are not the first core players to travel down this road: in the past, the club allowed Devin McCourty (2015), Dont’a Hightower (2017) and Nate Solder (2018) to test the waters, with the first two ultimately returning to New England after keeping an open line of communication with the team throughout the process.Free agencyIf New England and their two priority free agents have not agreed to new contracts by the time free agency starts on March 13, the duo will be free to sign wherever it wants to. This means that there are three realistic scenarios in play:1. Both test the market, both leave the Patriots: Flowers and Brown receive offers by other teams that New England — if even asked to do so in the first place — is unable to match for one reason or the other. Consequently, the two standouts accept the deals and leave Foxboro to play elsewhere in the future. Given how highly regarded both are expected to be, the contracts they would sign likely will result in the Patriots receiving high compensatory draft picks in 2020.2. Both test the market, one re-signs with the Patriots: With New England currently $24.3 million under the salary cap, it will not be able to retain both Flowers and Brown unless the club creates additional financial space. In this case, the knowledge of the market will likely be a determining factor which of the two is prioritized moving forward. Flowers is clearly the superior player, but Brown will presumably be the cheaper option.3. Both test the market, both re-sign with the Patriots: While this would be the ideal scenario for New England, it is also the least likely one. Why? The combination of the club’s limited financial resources at the moment and the likely price it will take to fit both Flowers and Brown under the cap without sacrificing the middle class of the roster. Unless initial projections about their value turn out to be drastically wrong Womens Chase Winovich Jersey , seeing both return to the Patriots is a pipe dream.The Patriots not placing the tag on Flowers and Brown is no definitive sign either way if they stays with the world champions or not. It simply is one less way to keep them next season, but as can be seen there are other avenues to ensure that one of them — anything else seems unrealistic — returns. Things might start to heat up once the legal tampering window opens next week, so don’t expect any movement before that. The San Francisco 49ers aren’t accustomed to lining up in victory formation. So, it should come as little surprise that third string quarterback Nick Mullens took a knee too quickly on fourth down, giving the ball back to the Broncos with 5 seconds left.Trailing 20-14, Denver had one last, long shot at a 61-yard touchdown on a hook-and-ladder prayer, the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the NFL since … well, about three hours earlier when the Dolphins stunned the Patriots 34-33 with the longest play from scrimmage to win a game with no time remaining in the fourth quarter since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.Alas, the Broncos couldn’t match the “Miami Miracle ” with their own magic as Devontae Booker allowed Tim Patrick’s throw-back to bounce past him and out of bounds at the San Francisco 39.That took Mullens off the hook.“It was a good rookie mistake,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “That was good because he’ll learn it forever and it won’t happen again and it didn’t cost us the game.”Not again?“I shouldn’t have done it in the first place,” Mullens said. “Are you kidding me?”The Patriots made a couple of uncharacteristic blunders in their meltdown in Miami on Sunday.New England squandered a scoring chance at the end of the first half. With 14 seconds left and no timeouts, Tom Brady took the snap on third-and-goal at the Miami 2, and when he was sacked by Robert Quinn the clock ran out, leaving the Patriots with a 27-21 lead.“Situational football Authentic Chase Winovich Jersey ,” said NBC analyst Tony Dungy. “The Patriots are the best in football at that. But Bill Belichick called the play at the end of the half, figuring his quarterback, Tom Brady, is going to make a good decision, and Tom didn’t throw the ball away. Cost them three points.”The Patriots had bigger brain lock in the final seconds of the fourth quarter, sending lumbering tight end Rob Gronkowski onto the field to defend the “Hail Mary” pass as the Dolphins lined up at their 31 with 7 seconds left, trailing 33-28.New England coach Bill Belichick said the reason Gronkowski was at safety instead of Devin McCourty, one of New England’s best defensive players: “It would be his ability to play the deep, long throw.”Ryan Tannehill, though, is no Aaron Rodgers.“I think it was a little too far to get to the end zone,” Belichick acknowledged Monday, “but certainly a deep pass in that situation is a possibility. I wouldn’t rule that out.”Instead, Tannehill threw a 14-yard pass to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to DeVante Parker Chase Winovich Jersey Boys , who quickly lateraled to speedy running back Kenyon Drake at midfield.Despite a history of back, knee and shoulder issues, Gronkowski remains one of the game’s premier tight ends.A good defender, he is not.He took a bad angle and stumbled as he tried to cut off Drake, who beat both Gronkowski and defensive back J.C. Jackson into the end zone to keep alive the wild-card chances of the Dolphins (7-6).“They’ve got Gronkowski in for a jump ball that’s not going to happen,” Dungy said. “It’s 70 yards away.