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42 restricted free agents, no offers sheets

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Free agency launched 24 days ago.  The class included 42 restricted free agents.

And not a single one has been signed to an offer sheet.

Previously, the thinking was that restricted free agents would get sniffs after the unrestricted market dried up.  That thinking arises in part from the fact, in past years, that’s exactly what happened.

So what’s happening this year?  With the maximum compensation now reduced from a first-round and third-round pick to only a first-round pick and with the “poison pill” device dead and with nine of the 42 RFA’s available with no compensation to the original team, it’s surprising that no offer sheets have been signed.  In fact, there have been few if any visits by restricted free agents to prospective employers.

The development comes at a time when many believed that Steelers receiver Mike Wallace and Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb would have been targeted by teams picking in the bottom of round one. And while time remains for signing a player to an offer sheet, there’s no indication that it will happen.

Given the suspected prevalence of collusion in the uncapped year of 2010, when restricted free agency expanded to include players with four years and five years of service and only running back Mike Bell changed teams, and in light of the recent Redskins/Cowboys cap penalties that tend to confirm collusion in 2010, it’s hard not to at least wonder whether teams have decided, verbally and discreetly, not to pilfer players via restricted free agency.

I’m not saying that’s what has happened.  But given that the teams were told, verbally and discreetly, not to take full advantage of the rules of the uncapped year in 2010, the rubber band already has been stretched that far.  The question is whether the NFL currently is pulling both ends of it.

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48 Responses to “42 restricted free agents, no offers sheets”
  1. realitypolice says: Apr 6, 2012 2:26 PM

    You may not be ready to say it, but I am.

    It’s collusion with a capital C. And since the union rolled over like chumps on the 2010 cap issue by allowing the NFL to take cap space away from the Skins and Cowboys, the precedent is set.

    Now the league knows it can pretty much collude in any way it wants and get away with it.

  2. Stiller43 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:28 PM

    Why dont you go back, do some research of when the last time an RFA with a first rounder tender on him was signed away…

    That could explain why its been slow for guys like mike wallace. The owners have a wink nod cough fart agreement not to “steal” other prized players so they dont get theirs stolen in return.

  3. len462 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:28 PM

    how do the owners that have been around for a while get new owners like the dude that bought the Jags to join forces so quickly? Is it quietly and discreetly explained to them before they buy the team?

  4. kathyisintheroom says: Apr 6, 2012 2:29 PM

    The owners outsmarted, outnegotiated, and downright spanked Demo Smith and his band of blind, dumb players.

    This is another example of the owners showing how they continually humiliate Demo and the undereducated “partners” he represents.

    So wonderful to see the owners continually shafting the greedy players !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If baseball had owners as smart as the NFL, then the grossly overpaid players in MLB would be brought down under control as the greedy brats in the NFL as well.

  5. steeelfann says: Apr 6, 2012 2:29 PM

    Perhaps the value is just not there and teams like their own draft picks. Has that crossed the mind. You can’t just buy championships. Draft picks are valued.

  6. deepthreat says: Apr 6, 2012 2:29 PM

    GUH… This has NOTHING to do with collusion. The players aren’t going to give up UFA next year to take a low-ball offer that is predicated on compensation of a 1st round pick this year.

  7. deepthreat says: Apr 6, 2012 2:30 PM

    Show me what offers have been declined…

  8. hairpie says: Apr 6, 2012 2:32 PM

    They can all go work somewhere else if they dont like it.

  9. epmckenna says: Apr 6, 2012 2:32 PM

    Teams just put so much value on their first round picks that they don’t want to give up that pick and have to pay a guy a contract that much larger than their draft pick would require. Some team in the late first round will take a wide receiver that will not turn out to be as good as Mike Wallace, but he’s also not as good as he thinks he is and he wants a ridiculously large salary, so it’s not worth giving up that pick. Plus teams put so much time in scouting players that they hope one of the guys they truly want will fall to them where they draft.

  10. dyims says: Apr 6, 2012 2:34 PM

    Here we go, Florio and the other conspiracy chumps are at it again. Florio, you just like to throw crap at a wall to see if anything sticks to it. You have absolutely no journalistic ability or credibility at all.

  11. dohpey28 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:36 PM

    With the new rookie salary scale, 1st round picks are more valuable then ever. There where no real knock out RFAs this year.

    Mike Wallace is a good WR, not a great one, and wants to be paid like a HOF one. Would you spend a 1st round pick and 65 million dollars on him?

    Webb had 1 good year, but again would you give up a 1st round pick AND 55 million dollars for him? Is he that good of a player?

    When Hutchinson was signed all those years back he was 1 of the top 2 or 3 guards in the game. None of the RFAs this year can be considered top 10 at their positions.

  12. cali49er707 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:37 PM

    note to all franchises, please dont offer LB larry grant anything he is a horrible player who is constantly out of position, he never makes plays, and he needs to remain with the 9ERS
    yours truly,
    THE 9ER FAITHFUL

  13. watermelon1 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:41 PM

    I would love to say I could see both sides of the fence on this argument… But not when there are players as talented and young as Webb and Wallace… At pretty important positions… Not get a single bit of interest.

    Running backs I could understand nobody wanting to give up a pick for. Mediocre players… Might as well take a shot in the draft. But two of the better guys at their position?

    There’s no explanation except collusion.

  14. mjkelly77 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:44 PM

    Maybe it’s as simple as these guys aren’t worth what they think they are. After all, their original teams didn’t sign any of them to long term contracts. And the reason for that is the player usually is overpricing himself in relation to the marketplace.

  15. beavertonsteve says: Apr 6, 2012 2:49 PM

    Half the problem is that the teams that really need players (aka bad teams) pay a much steeper price than the good teams. Mike Wallace would be snatched up by teams like the Rams or Jaguars, but they aren’t going to give up a top 10 pick for him and pay for his huge contract. The Rams 2nd round pick is basically the same value as the 49ers or Patriots pick.

  16. lottsmissingfinger says: Apr 6, 2012 2:50 PM

    Very surprising. MLB Larry Grant is a good ST player and was a solid backup to Patrick Willis when he missed 2 games this season. He was tendered at the 7th round level. Hard to believe any NFL teams think they could do appreciably better with a 7th round pick.

  17. dgtalmn says: Apr 6, 2012 2:52 PM

    Or maybe teams have seen the RFA are too bug of a risk and rather build through the draft. See Green Bay Packers, Ted Thompson.

  18. peacebringer says: Apr 6, 2012 2:52 PM

    Maybe it is the fact that no team can work things to the point where can be sure of getting player as poison pill eleminate, so why bother with a RFA. And those without a tender, not worth much anyway. Either cost too much, not worth it, and not worth the effort when offer can be matched.

  19. hrmlss says: Apr 6, 2012 2:54 PM

    I think it’s just that teams value their draft picks more than ever. Now that the draft and develop model is so prevalent. The teams that do usually waste them, (Redskins, Raiders) don’t have any to waste, having already given them away (Palmer RG3). And with no poison pill option, why do another teams work signing their player for them, (matching it) or giving them an offer to take back home to start their negotiating.

  20. briang123 says: Apr 6, 2012 2:54 PM

    When some one like Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers is on the market for the mere price of a 1st rounder and no one bites, then give me a call. Until then…..

  21. shaunypoo says: Apr 6, 2012 2:58 PM

    I think the extent of the collusion is that the rules are changing and no one understands to what degree they can push the envelope yet.

    I don’t deny for a minute that the good ol boys club is alive and well and that these things don’t happen, but some of these guys don’t always go with the grain, so for all 32 to be on the same page seems slightly less likely than me winning the powerball. Again.

  22. suite34 says: Apr 6, 2012 3:00 PM

    Re: dohpey28, just because Wallace wants $65m doesn’t mean you are going to OFFER him $65m. Of course he’s going to ask for the moon, that’s what an agent is supposed to do. Especially when a guy like Pierre Garçon signs for Pro Bowl numbers (with #2 production.). Simply put, if you’re the 49ers and you have the opportunity to get Mike Wallace, you make an offer you feel comfortable with, as he can put you over the top. If you draft Hill or another WR, that means collusion is in full effect, as you have made no immediate impact to better a team that needs exactly what Mike Wallace can provide.

  23. bucfandango says: Apr 6, 2012 3:11 PM

    So to attack Florio is the answer???

    Really?

    When all else fails just shoot the messenger. Clueless. Must be a Saints’ fan.

  24. conseannery says: Apr 6, 2012 3:14 PM

    You may not be ready to say it, but I am.

    It’s collusion with a capital C. And since the union rolled over like chumps on the 2010 cap issue by allowing the NFL to take cap space away from the Skins and Cowboys, the precedent is set.

    Now the league knows it can pretty much collude in any way it wants and get away with it.

    Collusion??? Have you even seen the list of RFAs and what the draft compensation is on them? For crying out loud, the Rams want a second rounder for Danny Amendola. Miami wants a second for Lydon Murtha. The Jets are shopping AARON MAYBIN OF ALL PEOPLE for a first.

    As others have pointed out, draft picks – particularly high draft picks with the rookie wage scale now in place – are quite valuable. A GM who trades picks for overvalued players such as these is out of his mind.

  25. rtk23 says: Apr 6, 2012 3:18 PM

    I love all the numnuts who bash florio. If he has no credibility, why do you come to this site? Go have mommy put the pacifier back in. Rectally.

  26. emoorm says: Apr 6, 2012 3:18 PM

    The trick to signing RFAs is to

    1. Wait a week before the draft
    2. Make sure the team you are trying to sign the RFA can’t match your offer
    3. Have a very low first round pick
    4. Make sure the RFA doesn’t want an arm and a leg to sign

    If these conditions aren’t met then you won’t even get close.

    Prediction: No RFAs will be signed this year.

  27. bhindenemylines says: Apr 6, 2012 3:19 PM

    I agree. Unless the RFA is Megatron, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers, Demarcus Ware, Revis, Adrian Peterson, or any other player who is arguable the #1 0r #2 guy at his position in the NFL, most teams are not going to part with a 1st rounder.

    If the NFL really wants the RFA tag to be legit, meaning some of these guys will really get offers and their current team will have to decide whether or not to match the offer, then it should be a 2nd or a 3rd round pick.

    Most teams have glaring needs that they are dying to address with their 1st round pick, but a 2nd or a 3rd?

    Wallace and Webb would have been gone in the 1st 72 hours (that’s three days for yous Jets fans) of free agency.

  28. bcgreg says: Apr 6, 2012 3:31 PM

    Peter Waiter (aka Pierre Garcon) is a bad example. Daniel Snyder signed him. He overpays for everyone (see Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Albert Haynesworth et al). He could have signed Wallace, but they’d have lost a top 10 pick. Sorry, but I’ll take Garcon and the # 2 pick over Wallace.

    Hey, as a Pats fan, I thought Mike Wallace made perfect sense for the 31st pick. But, the Pats went for Brandon Lloyd at much cheaper money than Wallace was asking (and he already knows Josh McDaniels system) and keeping the 31st pick. What would you have done?

    It comes down to value. Mike Wallace is not worth the double whammy of big money AND losing a first round pick. There are simply not many players who are.

  29. glac1 says: Apr 6, 2012 3:42 PM

    Being prudent doesn’t necessarily mean collusion. Championship teams aren’t built through free agency. Instead, you draft, develop and retain your own. That’s how the organizations that consistently are in contention do it.

  30. possiblecabbage says: Apr 6, 2012 3:59 PM

    I think the issue is that signing an RFA is a lot like trading a player. Unlike an unrestricted free agent it costs you a draft pick, and unlike a draft pick it costs you a significant contract. Most of the time in the past signing an RFA to an offer sheet results in the original team matching, and you put in all that effort in order to negotiate a player’s contract with another team.

    And player trades are very rare in the NFL, and come generally in situations where a team wants to be rid of a player (which would not describe any RFA who gets tendered.)

  31. redwards29a says: Apr 6, 2012 4:02 PM

    It may be worth noting that the value of draft picks has gone up since the imposition of the rookie wage scale. It’s MUCH cheaper to get a rookie than a high value free agent, doubly so for a restricted free agent.

  32. jollyrob68 says: Apr 6, 2012 4:07 PM

    I’m surprised Larry Grant hasn’t been signed for a 7th. He backed up and started for an injured Patrick Willis.

  33. bhindenemylines says: Apr 6, 2012 4:53 PM

    bcgreg says:
    Apr 6, 2012 3:31 PM
    Peter Waiter (aka Pierre Garcon) is a bad example.
    —————————–

    Garcon means “Boy”.

  34. laeaglefan says: Apr 6, 2012 4:59 PM

    They should just do away with the Restricted Free Agent designation anyway. Either a player is a free agent or he isn’t. Make it simple, then nobody will have to try to skirt the rules.

  35. nineroutsider says: Apr 6, 2012 5:06 PM

    I was thinking collusion all the way before reading the article. I’m just wondering why the Cowboys and Redskins didn’t try to burn the rest of the league again? “All of you for one, but us 2 for ourselves!”

  36. sixburghrules says: Apr 6, 2012 5:19 PM

    The Steelers will find a way to keep Brown & Wallace

  37. bubba9er says: Apr 6, 2012 5:24 PM

    Hey jollyrob68, don’t be talking like that about Larry Grant. Nobody should want such an undesirable player. The niners will just have to tolerate his presence for the rest of his career.

    (Guy is a freaking stud)

    He would start at ILB on most teams in the NFL.

  38. tatum064 says: Apr 6, 2012 7:53 PM

    bhindenemylines says:
    Apr 6, 2012 4:53 PM
    bcgreg says:
    Apr 6, 2012 3:31 PM
    Peter Waiter (aka Pierre Garcon) is a bad example.
    —————————–

    Garcon means “Boy”.

    ====================

    LOL, the Pulp Fiction reference!!!!

    Circle takes the square!

  39. mjkelly77 says: Apr 6, 2012 8:05 PM

    … tend to confirm collusion in 2010, it’s hard not to at least wonder whether teams have decided, verbally and discreetly, not to pilfer players via restricted free agency.

    I’m not saying that’s what has happened.
    __________________

    Yes, you are.

  40. preventoffense says: Apr 6, 2012 10:44 PM

    bhindenemylines says:
    Apr 6, 2012 4:53 PM
    bcgreg says:
    Apr 6, 2012 3:31 PM
    Peter Waiter (aka Pierre Garcon) is a bad example.
    —————————–

    Garcon means “Boy”.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    bhindenemylines means “Boy”

  41. bleed4philly says: Apr 6, 2012 11:12 PM

    Giving up draft picks for overpriced athletes is never a good business decision.

  42. steelpalace302 says: Apr 7, 2012 12:31 AM

    Sqeeler fans can thank the NFL for still having Wallace. If it wasnt for the NFL taking money off the skins and Cowboys to raise the cap the steelers would have had to let wallace go. But everyone needs to understand the cap matter with the Skins and Boys has not gone to the arbitrator yet. I know they cant take money off the cap but what will the other owners do when they lose ?

  43. steelpalace302 says: Apr 7, 2012 12:33 AM

    Oh and by the way only steeler fans and Mike Wallace himself think he is worth anything anyway.

  44. contract says: Apr 7, 2012 1:39 AM

    Collusion? Maybe. Or maybe people were just wrong. Maybe people were speculating and talking out of their you know what.

    fyi fabricating stories is not journalism. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

  45. purplepridehasadownside says: Apr 7, 2012 2:39 AM

    tatum, I saw the original post and thought ‘Pulp Fiction’, but alas, too slow…like my Vikings.

  46. gpclaw says: Apr 7, 2012 8:34 AM

    One are of this topic, that I have yet to read, is which side pushed for the change in draft pick compensation for RFA’s, in the new CBA?

  47. jascz says: Apr 7, 2012 11:01 AM

    Didn’t Lardarius Webb sign with the Ravens yesterday?? 6yrs/$50million.

  48. mrseaballs says: Apr 7, 2012 8:14 PM

    If it’s not being used they need to get rid of it. Give the conspiracy theorists one less thing to get weird about.

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