Continued from page 1

Saying that a record 495 players could become unrestricted free agents in March if there is a new deal in place, the league estimated those players would lose more than $300 million in potential contract money that month. The NFL also estimated that more than 70 players with existing contracts would not be able to collect about $140 million due March 4 or later in salary advances or bonuses.

Asked about the status of franchise tag rules, Pash said: “I expect the franchise tag to continue to operate as it has in prior seasons and clubs to be permitted to exercise their rights under the tag.”