Nineteen teams utilized the franchise tag in 2012. The Dolphins weren’t one of them.

In 2009, nearly half the league tagged someone. Not the Dolphins.

And as of Saturday afternoon, five franchises had used the franchise designation.

But despite 12 pending free agents set to hit the market next week — and general manager Jeff Ireland’s declaration late last month that there was “certainly a likelihood” the Dolphins would tag someone — all appeared quiet in Davie on Saturday.

There’s still time left — the deadline to apply the tag isn’t until Monday — and perhaps Ireland is waiting until the last moment to maximize his leverage (players usually prefer long-term contracts with a big chunk of guaranteed money up front than playing year to year).

Or maybe it’s part of a bigger trend, an indication that Ireland, for whatever reason, simply doesn’t like using the franchise designation.

Since getting hired in 2008, Ireland has tagged just one player: Paul Soliai in 2011. Soliai pocketed more than $12 million — guaranteed — under the franchise tag. After playing out the one-year deal, he ultimately re-signed with the Dolphins — at half the price.