We’ve mentioned a time or two the twist in restricted free agency that, as to some restricted free agents, allows a dramatic drop in their tenders offers as of June 15.
On that date, the offer extended on or before March 4 can be dropped to 110 percent of the player’s 2009 salary.
For some players, the decrease is negligible. For others, the difference becomes dramatic.
Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the the Chargers have informed two of their unsigned restricted free agents — left tackle Marcus McNeill and receiver Vincent Jackson — that their tenders will drop as of June 15.
Per Acee, Jackson’s tender offer will plummet from $3.268 million to $583,000. McNeill’s salary would fall from $3.168
million to $600,000.
It’s our current understanding that McNeill is inclined to sign his tender and then hold out, since the daily fines would be dwarfed by the $2.568 million in salary he’ll be losing if he doesn’t sign by June 15. As we recently mentioned, however, McNeill would lose a year of service if he fails while under contract to report for training camp by August 10, 30 days before the start of the regular season.
So with McNeill currently having only four years of service, he’d still have only four years in 2011 — and he’d be back where he is right now, as a restricted free agent. (Then again, if the new CBA keeps eligibility for unrestricted free agency at six years, it won’t matter.)
As to Jackson, don’t be shocked if he refuses to sign the tender and then sits out into the regular season, possibly until Week 10 and possibly for the entire year.
If anyone thinks that a greatly reduced or nonexistent season for Jackson would harm his value for 2011, consider this — Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford, Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, and Oklahoma State Dez Bryant played greatly reduced or nonexistent seasons in 2009, and each became first-round draft picks.