The Detroit Lions aren't likely to use the franchise tag this offseason, at least according to general manager Martin Mayhew. As noted by Dave Birkett on Twitter, Mayhew said that he doesn't see the Lions using the tag this year.
Last season, the Lions used the tag on defensive end Cliff Avril after talks went down to the wire. They also said at this point last year that they did not want to use the tag on Avril, but the contract talks broke down and they were forced to.
There's certainly plenty of players coming up that could use the tag, including cornerback Chris Houston and safety Louis Delmas. If talks break down with those players, then the Lions could default to using the franchise tag, regardless of their desire to not use it at this point.
Players typically do not like the franchise tag and at least one of them, Houston, have spoken out against it already.