In recent years, there has been scant little action in restricted free agency, and excitement could be lacking once again unless a team decides to make a big offer for Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz or Chargers wideout Danario Alexander.
Nevertheless, restricted free agency isn’t without its interesting moments. Here’s one: According to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, the Jets have given thought to tendering RFA tight end Jeff Cumberland at a second-round level.
Cumberland, who turns 26 in May, showed some promise in 2010, setting career highs in catches (29), yards (359) and touchdowns (three). Should the Jets extend him a second-round tender, he will receive a one-year, $2.023 million contract offer, according to figures reported by NFL Network’s Albert Breer in January.
A second-round tender would effectively keep Cumberland off the market; it’s hard to see any team giving up that high of a pick for him. In short, it would somewhat insure the Jets from the potential loss of UFA tight end Dustin Keller, who figures to draw some interest if he hits the market.
Were the Jets to exercise their right-of-first-refusal on Cumberland, it would save them $700,000, per Breer’s figures, but it would potentially open the door to a club making a play for the tight end. Cumberland went undrafted out of Illinois in 2010, so only the first- and second-round pick tenders would ensure the Jets any compensation were they to decline to match an offer sheet.
Such are the decisions teams have to make in restricted free agency. That’s usually what passes for excitement.