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Sproles is fair game for final eight teams

D_Sproles_1.jpgAs the league moves closer and closer to the first uncapped year since 1993, the rules gradually are becoming clearer.

That sounds a lot better than saying, “We screwed something up.”

On Friday, we suggested that the Chargers’ decision not to offer the lowest-level restricted free agency tender to running back Darren Sproles might have been motivated by a desire to keep him from the Colts.  As a final four team that is prevented from signing an unrestricted free agent until one is lost, the Colts nevertheless can pursue restricted free agents at will.

The flaw in our thinking?  The decision not to issue a restricted free agency tender to Sproles doesn’t make him an unrestricted free agent.

Per NFL director of corporate communications Dan Masonson, “If an RFA is not tendered, he’s a free agent, but not a UFA. . . .  So Final Eight teams can sign him.”

In this regard, the CBA isn’t crystal clear.  As best we can determine, a restricted free agent always is a “restricted free agent,” regardless of whether their teams take advantage of the devices for restricting their movement.

This means that the Colts and the Vikings and the Saints and the Jets and the Ravens and the Cardinals and the Cowboys can pursue Sproles without having to figure out how signing him might or might not fit within the restrictions of the Final Eight Plan. 

That same reality will apply to any other restricted free agent who receives no tender.

So why wasn’t Sproles tendered?  Apparently, the Chargers believe that even the right of first refusal requires offering to Sproles 110 percent of his 2009 salary.  (The union believes it does not.)

In other words, we’re not the only ones who have screwed something up.
 

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18 Responses to “Sproles is fair game for final eight teams”
  1. Zatko says: Feb 27, 2010 2:17 PM

    It’s all starting to come together for Brett… Randy Moss at WR, Berrian gone. Sproles at 3rd down Back, Chester can look elsewhere (as much as we wanted to keep him).
    Look our McKinnie… you’re replacement is next.
    – Z

  2. Ches says: Feb 27, 2010 2:20 PM

    This whole new set of rules for this year are really kind of annoying.
    Dear NFL, go get a new CBA and stop this rigamarow.

  3. 4ever19 says: Feb 27, 2010 2:23 PM

    OK, Colts, get on your horse and throw a rope around this dude. Good return man. I am a little (get it, little) worried about his pass catching and blocking skills, but he can tote the rock on kick returns.

  4. Mike Z says: Feb 27, 2010 2:28 PM

    This is why people think most bloggers are hacks . Instead of writing a blog just for the need of getting something out there quickly, wait for the facts and do some research. I am sure Terry Bradshaw would feel the same way.

  5. downsouth49er says: Feb 27, 2010 2:32 PM

    Oh shutup with the final eight teams already

  6. SC21 says: Feb 27, 2010 2:39 PM

    Maybe they wanted to avoid a poison pill situation. Ever think of that, Florio?

  7. Murphspeak says: Feb 27, 2010 2:43 PM

    The Chargers have a long, fine tradition of watching players go elsewhere to both thrive and win championships. Seau, Harrison, uh . . . what’s that guy’s name again . . . Oh yeah, Drew Brees and even guys like Ben Leber leave San Diego, the Chargers “generally manage” to not get squat or well below market value (Michael Turner). But rest assured, AJ Smith is a freakin’ genius! Look how we’ve progressed since we jettisoned Marty Schottenheimer. We are THE dominant force in the playoffs, just like AJ said, we’ve really “made noise” in the post season. The loud, wet “SPLORTCH” of a juicy turd hitting the porcelain is the noise, but it’s noise.
    Never underestimate how well this front office can botch things. The Chargers will never make a mistake on the side that could maybe, possibly benefit the team.

  8. Jabberwocky says: Feb 27, 2010 2:46 PM

    “This means that the Colts and the Vikings and the Saints and the Jets and the Ravens and the Cardinals and the Cowboys can pursue Sproles without having to figure out how signing him might or might not fit within the restrictions of the Final Eight Plan.”
    Here’s a revision to your horrible structured sentence.
    “This means the Colts, Queens, Saints, Jets, Ravens, Cardinals, and Cowgirls can pursue Sproles without having to understand the implications of signing him within the restrictions of the Final Eight Plan.”
    Is there an editor in the house? Jeebus!

  9. CanadianVikingFan says: Feb 27, 2010 3:01 PM

    So the Chargers are starting their backfield from scratch…. Yikes! Good thing for the Chargers Phillip Rivers is so damn good. Though he alone won’t get them into the superbowl with that declining defence, and no help from the run game.

  10. Byrd Is The Word says: Feb 27, 2010 3:22 PM

    LOL propheteer, I think this entire article was screwed up!

  11. SonOfNOLA says: Feb 27, 2010 3:50 PM

    Sproles is going to SF. Why would Minnesota pick him up if they already have Percy Harvin as their return guy and basically the same player? Minny fans are clearly living in a make believe world if they’d think Darren Sproles is going to lure Favre to come back.

  12. pdxbolt4life says: Feb 27, 2010 3:53 PM

    Murphspeak says:
    February 27, 2010 2:43 PM
    The Chargers have a long, fine tradition of watching players go elsewhere to both thrive and win championships. Seau, Harrison, uh . . . what’s that guy’s name again . . . Oh yeah, Drew Brees and even guys like Ben Leber leave San Diego, the Chargers “generally manage” to not get squat or well below market value (Michael Turner). But rest assured, AJ Smith is a freakin’ genius! Look how we’ve progressed since we jettisoned Marty Schottenheimer. We are THE dominant force in the playoffs, just like AJ said, we’ve really “made noise” in the post season. The loud, wet “SPLORTCH” of a juicy turd hitting the porcelain is the noise, but it’s noise.
    Never underestimate how well this front office can botch things. The Chargers will never make a mistake on the side that could maybe, possibly benefit the team.
    *******************************************
    Well said.

  13. Shamrock says: Feb 27, 2010 4:49 PM

    Florio needs to put up or shut up.
    Where is a valid statement from the NFLPA that Subsection f of Section 2 of Article XIX does not affect Sproles if the Chargers tendered him?

  14. GirthyOne says: Feb 27, 2010 5:17 PM

    “SC21 says:
    February 27, 2010 2:39 PM
    Maybe they wanted to avoid a poison pill situation. Ever think of that, Florio?”
    Then they could have just let him go then.

  15. phillyeagleschamps says: Feb 27, 2010 5:24 PM

    He will be an Eagle.

  16. J.Cannon says: Feb 27, 2010 8:40 PM

    http://www.savethevikes.org
    http://www.minnesotamomentum.com

  17. flop 4 strahan says: Feb 27, 2010 9:26 PM

    Qeenies!! You already have 10 pro-bowlers !!! Think about it. Players aren’t the problem here. You have a coach who has been pushed aside and humiliated by his star player. A QB who has choked in EVERY big game he’s played since 1999. Your HOF running back has fumbleitis and you want Randy Moss?? This is gonna be fun to watch.

  18. Adam says: Feb 28, 2010 4:15 AM

    Y’all forget to talk bout Sydney Rice. I thought he was pretty good, but Vikes fans think he’s terrible or somethin.

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