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Colts P McAfee gets franchise tag

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Punter Pat McAfee was given the franchise tag by the Indianapolis Colts.

The move isn't a surprise, and the one-year, $2.9 million tender could be replaced by a long-term deal. McAfee said last week he'd take the designation as an honor.

It was crystal clear from coach Chuck Pagano's comments Feb. 22 at the NFL Scouting Combine that McAfee wasn't going anywhere.

"He's huge," Pagano said. "He's a major priority in free agency. Obviously, we've reached out and are working to get Pat re-signed. We saw what he did for us last year. He's a great weapon, not only kickoffs and touchbacks. I sat in a hospital bed and from home for 12 weeks and watched him pin guys back inside the 20, inside the 10 over and over again. To have a weapon like that is a tremendous asset to a team. It helps with field position, helps our offense, helps our defense, set up long fields for opponent's offenses, things like that. It's a huge priority getting Pat back."

McAfee was a seventh-round pick in 2009. He was a two-time Lou Groza finalist at West Virginia and handles punts and kickoffs for the Colts.

He had a 40.3-yard net punting average in 2012 and dropped 26 punts inside the 20 with eight touchbacks.
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