Former Longhorn safety Michael Griffin gets franchise tag

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Tennessee Tians placed franchise tag on Michael Griffin Monday. a two-time Pro Bowler, Griffin starrted for Longhorns when they won a national title game against USC that season. His eight blocked punts are a Texas school record.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

The Tennessee Titans have tagged safety Michael Griffin as their franchise player.

The Titans announced the move Monday a couple hours before the NFL deadline to use the tag.

The move to tag Griffin still allows the Titans to work on a long-term contract before July 16 with the safety who was their first-round draft pick in 2007 out of Texas. Griffin was due to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13.

Another team could sign Griffin to a contract, but the franchise tag allows the Titans to either match the contract or be awarded two No. 1 draft picks.

“Tag your it,” Griffin wrote on Twitter after the Titans’ announcement.

By tagging Griffin, the Titans are on target to return both starting safeties.

The 6-foot Griffin is a two-time Pro Bowler, the last in 2010 when he led the team with four interceptions and ranked second on the team with a career-high 153 tackles. In 2011, he ranked third with 96 tackles and tied for the team lead with two interceptions. For his career, Griffin has started 73 of 80 games played and he has 17 career interceptions with seven forced fumbles and four fumbles recovered.