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Restricted free agency market still nonexistent

Sanders Getty Images

Last year, none of the 42 restricted free agents signed offers sheets with new teams.  This year, none of nearly 40 restricted free agents have signed offer sheets with new teams.

At a certain point, the existence of an informal understanding among NFL teams to lay off each other’s restricted free agents becomes the only reasonable conclusion.  If that’s the case, it’s a clear case of collusion.

Since the uncapped year of 2010, in which restricted free agency dramatically expanded on a one-time basis to include players with four or five years of service, only one RFA has signed an offer sheet with a new team.  That was running back Mike Bell, a restricted free agent with the Saints who signed an offer sheet with the Eagles.

In four years of restricted free agency classes — four years — no other player has signed an offer sheet.

Last year’s 0-fer was explained away by the exorbitant contract that former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace wanted.  And, generally, some believe that teams shouldn’t waste their time negotiating a contract that the player’s current team can match.

But with more and more teams having cap trouble and a large cluster of teams having more than $10 million remaining, it’s easier than ever to craft a front-loaded offer sheet that, say, the Giants would have a hard time matching for receiver Victor Cruz (who has a first-round tender), the Ravens would have a hard time matching for tight end Dennis Pitta (who has a second-round tender), and/or the Steelers would have a hard time matching for receiver Emmanuel Sanders (who has a third-round tender).

Coincidentally (or not), the league’s in-house media company reported before the start of free agency that, as to Cruz, “there is already a ton of interest and plenty of teams just waiting for their opening.”  Since March 12, Cruz has been doing the salsa to the sound of crickets.  Pitta likewise drew “preliminary interest” from several unnamed teams.

Still, only one RFA — Sanders — took a visit, three weeks ago to the Patriots.  And it’s hard not to at least wonder whether the normally ultra-secretive Patriots, who routinely insist on full discretion from players in whom they are interested, allowed the Sanders visit to be reported in order to help create the sense that restricted free agency has not gone the way of the dodo bird.

Regardless of any interest — real, imagined, or exaggerated — that teams have in Cruz, Pitta, Sanders, it hasn’t translated into an offer sheet being signed (or, as far as anyone knows, even offered) to a single restricted free agent since Mike Bell in 2010.

With the league recently defending the relative lack of activity in unrestricted free agency by claiming that “[p]layer signings in 2013 have been characterized by robust spending and intense competition,” there has been no spending and no competition for restricted free agents.

If that’s not the result of collusion, then why is it happening?

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77 Responses to “Restricted free agency market still nonexistent”
  1. bartlettruss says: Apr 6, 2013 8:56 AM

    It may be collusion. I don’t know, but most of the RFA situations out there would be a pretty bad deal. Assuming both the current and possible future team will pay a player “what he’s worth” the future team will always have to pay more, so it stands to reason that most teams will retain their current player.

  2. jredshoes says: Apr 6, 2013 8:58 AM

    Instead of your conspiracy theory maybe you should look at the rookie wage scale in the new CBA. That is the driving force for the market correction that is occurring. That collusion was for in public with Dee Smith agreeing

  3. ironman721 says: Apr 6, 2013 9:00 AM

    Who cares? Someone will overpay them next year.

  4. JMClarkent says: Apr 6, 2013 9:00 AM

    Here is why: No one wants to blow a draft pick AND a huge chunk of cap for a player.

    Ideally you would draft that position instead (for MUCH less coin over 3-5 years) and trust your staff to coach him up.

  5. brentwoodjerry says: Apr 6, 2013 9:01 AM

    The reality is that these players would not be traded straight up for the draft compensation that they are tendered at.

  6. flipola says: Apr 6, 2013 9:03 AM

    Teams would probably rather not have to give up a draft pick.

  7. drcap says: Apr 6, 2013 9:05 AM

    This is not a conspiracy… Rather it is the result of the new rookie wage scale. The consequence of the wage scale is that draft picks are worth more than they were when the free-agent tender policy was written. For example, a first-round tender means that a team signing a free agent must give up a first-round player, who would likely be a starter, and that drafted player’s low salary for 4-5 years. Very few veteran players would be worth that trade-off. And if that veteran player was worth it, then their current team would lock them up. Thus, the current tender policy is out-dated.

  8. sbaltimore says: Apr 6, 2013 9:08 AM

    Gee, Mike…looks like regular posters have the answer — the asking price is TOO HIGH for RFAs. No conspiracy. Just common sense. Why is it that you are always looking for conspiracies under every rock? Maybe because that’s what gets the big hits here on this site? (Oh wait…is that just another conspiracy theory?)

  9. thehouseofho says: Apr 6, 2013 9:15 AM

    I bet there was plenty of interest in Victor Cruz before he dumped his agent, got a new agent, and believed he was worth $10-$11 million per year.

    Sometimes you have to look at all of the individual circumstances before making claims.

  10. steelerben says: Apr 6, 2013 9:18 AM

    The players also have to be willing to sign with the new team as well, right? As much as a team like Jacksonville could offer enormous money to Cruz, does it make sense to leave a stable franchise with Manning at QB for a rebuilding team with some serious question marks at QB? Sanders went on a visit to see what the market would offer him and I’m not shocked that a season with below average production and some fumble issues didn’t show a market value that tempted him.

  11. raiderlyfe510 says: Apr 6, 2013 9:19 AM

    Nobody wants to give up compensation to sign a FREE agent. RFA system is stupid.

  12. ravennole says: Apr 6, 2013 9:21 AM

    other have already said it but this is all about the rookie wage scale. The Ravens employ the saying 80/20 80% of the production for 20% of the cost. Cruz is a good WR but at 10 million a year hes pricy. You can get Tavon Austin for 2 million a year for the same timeframe and add an elite player at another position. Its a no brainer.

  13. illicitbehavior says: Apr 6, 2013 9:21 AM

    Gee, Mike…looks like regular posters have the answer — the asking price is TOO HIGH for RFAs. No conspiracy. Just common sense. Why is it that you are always looking for conspiracies under every rock? Maybe because that’s what gets the big hits here on this site? (Oh wait…is that just another conspiracy theory?)

    This is only Part 1 of 7. Part 2 will be about the collusion between teams to keep the Redskins from changing their team name (and of course, why that’s wrong).

  14. mrsryansfamoustoejam says: Apr 6, 2013 9:27 AM

    No collusion, just common sense. How long it will take the NFLPA to run crying to Judge Doty about this issue?

  15. jessethegreat says: Apr 6, 2013 9:28 AM

    Stop it with the conspiracy theories that always side with the players. We get it… You like talking to players once and a while and enjoy being on good terms with their agents to get the scoops. But raming these false agendas (nfl is against gay players coming out, nfl vs nflpa head trauma case, nfl vs Washington and dallas salary cap, and this restricted junk) is just plain BIASED.

    The more you post about these fake agendas, the more it confirms suspicion you are voiceofreason. I’m sure you won’t post my thoughts, but at least I know you’re reading them so you can see people are on to your agenda!

  16. rgwhodey says: Apr 6, 2013 9:32 AM

    who wants to give up a first round pick for a slot receiver, or a 2nd for a slow TE and over pay when you can draft a rookie for a 1/4 of the cost if not less? quit trying to make something out of nothing…

  17. damayan5 says: Apr 6, 2013 9:39 AM

    Why wouldnt the Bucs target Sam Shields? A good young corner that has a second round tender.

  18. threatlevelbob says: Apr 6, 2013 9:44 AM

    It’s good food for thought but I think you need a better example of a guy that is being seriously undervalued by his current team, because Sanders, Pitta, and Cruz just aren’t worth the big paycheck plus the draft pick the signing team would have to give up.

  19. norrinradd12 says: Apr 6, 2013 9:46 AM

    It’s obvious collusion. Cruz not worth a #1? yeaokmodel.gif

    Teams don’t want to give up #1′s put then draft turds with them anyway, so that argument is invalid.

  20. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Apr 6, 2013 9:50 AM

    or maybe other teams think that with the number of drops last year by Cruz he simply isn’t worth 11 million.
    or maybe other teams are wise enough to know that Eli made Cruz what he is and if they bring him in he will be instantly an average receiver.

    Cant wait for the draft so there will be stories with substance, not about nonsensical things such as changing the name of the redskins and theories of collusion.

  21. weneedlinemen42 says: Apr 6, 2013 9:54 AM

    If that’s not the result of collusion, then why is it happening?

    There are several really good reasons outside of collusion.

    1) Teams place a very high value on draft picks, now more than ever before. It was heading in that direction before the new CBA. Now with more restraints on remuneration and a static cap, draft picks are conisdered to be great value.

    2) The RFA’s current team can just match the deal.

    Whoever targets an RFA essentially has to pay competitive free agent prices because they have to outbid the current rights holder.

    Not only that, they can do all the work hammering out a new contract, and then not get the player.

    It’s actually easier just to sign an unrestricted free agent.

    3) If no one bids for an RFA there is a very good chance they will end up being a UFA just one year later, see Mike Wallace.

    Any GM who thinks long term, which should be all of them, will keep the draft pick and wait a year.

    There is no doubt that the league colluded over the “actually capped uncapped year” but the RFA market is just that, a market, subject to market forces. No one is buying because they don’t feel it has value.

  22. forty9asty says: Apr 6, 2013 9:56 AM

    My girlfriend is a Giants fan and last week she was telling me about “multiple” stories in the NY media outlets saying that the 49ers were working on an offer sheet that the Giants couldn’t match to acquire Cruz. I never saw it mentioned on PFT, but a few days later I saw the report about how much he wanted per year (Nice try Jay-Z). I wonder how much truth there was to the story or just how close it came to an offer sheet. They have since spent a good deal of their remaining cap space so it doesn’t seem feasible now…

  23. reasonableeaglefan says: Apr 6, 2013 9:57 AM

    Mike Friggin Bell. The fact that the Eagles gave compensation for that stiff shows why the system is broken.
    For a non-NFL example see Kyle Loshe. He would have been snapped up for more money if a draft pick wasn’t tied to his signing. Instead he twisted until the week before opening day, and draft picks are far less valued in that sport.

  24. timpiker says: Apr 6, 2013 9:59 AM

    I don’t think its because of the money but because of the draft picks. These are young talented CHEAP players they would be giving up for someone that may not be in their prime, may have an injury and wants TOP MONEY BASED ON PAST RESULTS.

  25. timpiker says: Apr 6, 2013 10:00 AM

    Not smart – need to BUY LOW SELL HIGH.

  26. nickster31 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:01 AM

    As it has been well pointed out here…

    1 – No one wants to give up their draft pick to acquire the player, because the rookie wage scale.

    2 – No one wants to work out a contract for a player that the original team can simply match.

    3 – Why give up anything for a player, when he is likely to be unrestricted the next year?

    4 – If the player is so valuable, why didn’t the original team sign them to a long term offer before now?

    Now, unless everyone commenting here just happens to be an owner of an NFL team, maybe you missed the boat on this one, as it is looking like everyone here agrees with the owners.

  27. playbookofeli says: Apr 6, 2013 10:02 AM

    Didn’t you write a story about 7 mil yearly offer to Cruz a few days ago?

  28. jpanders says: Apr 6, 2013 10:06 AM

    Agreed. Mike has been pushing this agenda for awhile. The collusion allegation makes sense on the surface. But if you really examine how teams have approached the draft and free agency in the last couple years it’s clear that teams don’t think there is value in signing RFAS.

  29. peytonsneck18 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:10 AM

    Why wouldnt the Bucs target Sam Shields? A good young corner that has a second round tender.

    cause dude is injury proned

  30. croteus says: Apr 6, 2013 10:12 AM

    Oh c’mon, there’s at least a little side agreement between teams. Why else would no one bother to sign Danario Alexander to an offer sheet? Sure, he has a terrible history of injuries. But his contract would reflect that, and you wouldn’t have to give up anything for him. He was tendered at the original round level.

    He certainly showed enough last year that wide receiver needy teams like the Vikings and Patriots would give him a shot if he were a free agent – which he basically is, given the lack of compensation you would have to give the Chargers.

    Heck, why wouldn’t you at least do it to force the Chargers to waste a little extra cap money signing him?

  31. glac1 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:12 AM

    or… maybe teams are starting to put more value in a draft choice compared to other players who are not “blue chippers”..

  32. croteus says: Apr 6, 2013 10:13 AM

    Added note: Danario Alexander was undrafted, so original round tender means nothing.

  33. humbleminded85 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:17 AM

    sbaltimore says: Apr 6, 2013 9:08 AM

    Gee, Mike…looks like regular posters have the answer — the asking price is TOO HIGH for RFAs. No conspiracy. Just common sense. Why is it that you are always looking for conspiracies under every rock? Maybe because that’s what gets the big hits here on this site? (Oh wait…is that just another conspiracy theory?)
    ————————————————-
    Wow… they let you post this?!?! I thought they didn’t allow someone to post truthful comments like that. Great post Sbaltimore, almost every Florio article just oozes out that he’s a lawyer.

  34. gpete1962 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:17 AM

    It might be collusion, or it might be that a #1 pick so coveted now to give up because of the rookie salary caps.

  35. borophyll says: Apr 6, 2013 10:22 AM

    Gee, I don’t know, maybe because no one things those guys are worth it?

  36. papazoid says: Apr 6, 2013 10:28 AM

    Q:why doesn’t everyone jump off a cliff ? A: maybe it’s collusion or maybe it’s just not a good idea……well, paying top dollar AND giving up a high draft choice is just not a good idea.

  37. sminco123 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:30 AM

    I agree the the RFA is outdated and keeps tenders from being offered. But lets lay off Mike for bringing up the word collusion.
    It does seem odd that team’s like the Rams, Colts, Jags wouldn’t even inquire about Cruz. The Rams have needed a #1 reciever for yrs and have drafted a few wannabes. Irsay? He’s desperate for a #1. But no interest? Remember the Redskins and Cowboys anyone? The NFL agreed that it committed collusion that would be illegal except that the NFLPA agreed to go along.
    So… the owner’s only did it once? yeah right.

  38. sbaltimore says: Apr 6, 2013 10:36 AM

    @humbleminded85

    I guess they didn’t delete the post because it got a lot of clicks. (Sometimes clicks (=$) end up taking precedence over Mike’s pride.)

  39. blackngold4life says: Apr 6, 2013 10:39 AM

    I think Sanders is worth a 3rd round pick for a team that needs a WR..

  40. pleasefirecam says: Apr 6, 2013 10:41 AM

    Don’t worry Mike, I’m with you man! Funny how everyone can use the word conspiracy theory and automatically that means what you’re saying has no credibility. That started back up in the Bush era….9-11, Patriot Act, Homeland Security. March on sheep, march on…

  41. j98me2 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:44 AM

    I have to agree with most of the people on here. The rookie wage scale, combined with the stagnant cap number kills the RFA market.

    10 mil a year + a first round pick is a lot for Cruz. Use the 1st on a receiver if you need one and roll the cap space over. Try to sign him as a UFA next year.

  42. dcapettini says: Apr 6, 2013 10:45 AM

    I don’t know about the other players but Pitta seems to be worth the $2m+ second round RFA price but not a whole lot more. He can’t block and he isn’t fast. He has great hands and runs good routes. He is also not an every down player, since his blocking is sub par. He is a valuable weapon for Flacco on third down or in the red zone. Another QB may never throw to him.

  43. skiss68 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:45 AM

    I understand everyone saying it isnt worth a #1 pick. Then how do u explain Seattle TRADInG 3 draft picks including a #1 for a injury prone Percy. And they had to pay him 12 mill per year. I would rather have a proven Cruz over the more explosive and injury prone Percy.

  44. CKL says: Apr 6, 2013 11:00 AM

    Say what you want about BB (and you all do) but I don’t think the man is into wasting time to promote an NFL agenda. He’s not even a member of the coaches’ union. Appearances aren’t very meaningful to him. If the Pats did have talks with Sanders, I am sure there was genuine interest.

  45. humbleminded85 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:04 AM

    @ Sbaltimore Sad but true, just like yesterday with the whole Ayenbadajo’s thing about him thinking he was cut because of his stance on gay marriage. If you noticed, his following comments clearing up what he said originally was down towards that bottom of the PFT homepage BUT his original comment was still the top one with the bold letters. The original one which was taken out of context was the “big hitter” but the truthful one was purposely placed lower. Please tell me how that isn’t about clicks and clicks only???

  46. barbasol11111111 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:10 AM

    I don’t know what it is, but danario Alexander getting no attention is a head scratcher to me

    Dude is a big productive WR and has a super low tender with no draft pick attached because he was an undrafted free agent

    I would imagine that he would make a lot of sense to a lot of teams and there has been absolutely nothing

  47. killitandeatit says: Apr 6, 2013 11:18 AM

    This site is simply great. The depth of knowledge and the point by point explanations by the audience are always fascinating and very informative . Great articulate explanations on a confusing and convoluted subject. These comments are pure gold Mike,don’t change this site’s ability to tap in to the highly qualified folks that contribute on a daily basis.

  48. jbcommonsense says: Apr 6, 2013 11:21 AM

    @sbaltimore, that may explain why most, or even almost all RFAs do not result in signing with new teams, but it does not explain why exceptional talents such as Vincent Jackson [when he was an RFA] just gathered dust, instead of lucrative offers.

  49. patfanken says: Apr 6, 2013 11:24 AM

    Mike, at what point are you going to start to listen to your readership. Its pretty clear here that YOU are the only one seeing any “collusion”. YOU are the only one trying desperately to create an issue where none exists.

    Its not like we don’t know why you keep persisting on this fool’s errand. We understand that agents make up a big portion of your “sources”, and sometimes you have to carry their water for them. Its not like we would think less of you if you simply admitted it.

    In the meantime, its time to move on, and recognize the reality of the marketplace. The rookie wage scale has made RFA simply uneconomical. No its not a conspiracy to run a franchise with a little common sense.

  50. Stiller43 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:26 AM

    “At a certain point, the existence of an informal understanding among NFL teams to lay off each other’s restricted free agents becomes the only reasonable conclusion.”

    Or how about the fact a player like Brady or Manning never gets to RFA? Players likd Cruz, you have the Giants unwilling (at this point) to give him his contract demands (over 10 mil a year according to you guys), why would any other team be offering that PLUS a first rounder? I know teams have different needs, but in general, most teams have relatively similar values for players.

    A player like Sanders, its not unreasonable to think you can use a 3rd rounder (the cost to sign him) to draft a rookie who can average 30 catches a year (like Sanders has)…and he’d cost 1/10th what Sanders would likely cost to sign as a RFA.

    If collusion was the ONLY option for why teams werent signing other teams players, would teams just place the lowest tender possible on all their RFAs? Why bothef with 1st round tender, 2nd round tender, etc…?

  51. FinFan68 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:28 AM

    To those of you concerned about Danario Alexander: The Chargers would likely match any offer given. His injury concerns are valid: a hammy that hasn’t healed and 5 (yes, 5) knee surgeries. He is a red zone threat role player. Any offer to him will be fairly low or short-term and the team would just be doing the Chargers’ work free of charge

  52. harrisonhits2 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:34 AM

    There are only a few positions where the experience makes a huge difference when you compare players of equivalent skills and one is a draft pick and the other an RFA.

    A proven QB is one of them. Receivers seem to take about 3 years to really adjust and hit their prime in the NFL. Other than those 2 none of the other positions really stand out to me unless it is a player of exceptional proven skill level.

    And lol at the Steelers’ bumble bee photo. One of the worst uniforms of all time.

  53. kwjsb says: Apr 6, 2013 11:34 AM

    Hey Mike,
    Instead of looking for the poor down trodden millionaires who play a game for a living, to carry a cause for them, have you ever ran abusiness and said to yourself, these RFA’s are not good enough for the money they are being paid. With the new Rookie scale, most of them can be replaced with a rookie cheaper, and the rest of the money falls to guys like Flacco and Revis who teams now have to over pay for the top tier players.

  54. cliffordc05 says: Apr 6, 2013 11:45 AM

    Lots of money and a first round draft pick for Cruz? It does not take collusion to realize that is far too high a price for a receiver from New York. Was Miami part of the great conspiracy to not sign Mike Wallace last year or did they simply exercise some restraint and wait a year.

    A poor players’ contract negotiated by the NFLPA is responsible for the current FA and RFA market.

  55. thetooloftools says: Apr 6, 2013 11:52 AM

    Yea, because who doesn’t want to give up draft picks to overpay for a guy.

  56. dangernearing says: Apr 6, 2013 12:06 PM

    You guys better be careful. Florio dont like comments that go against HIS logic he might take away comments. But the commentors hit on the head. Too much capital to give up, period

  57. mjkelly77 says: Apr 6, 2013 12:16 PM

    There’s a boogeyman behind every bush, eh, Florio?

  58. SilentMajority says: Apr 6, 2013 12:19 PM

    Why would anyone use the franchise tag if they already agreed not to sign away their restricted free agents? That’s where the collusion conspiracies fall apart…

  59. lennydpocketqb says: Apr 6, 2013 12:29 PM

    Rookie wage scale. Established free agents not getting paid. This will eventually end up in court.

  60. bunjy96 says: Apr 6, 2013 12:58 PM

    pete1962 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:17 AM

    It might be collusion, or it might be that a #1 pick so coveted now to give up because of the rookie salary caps.

    VVVVV

    That’s so obvious. But Mike can’t say this or conspiracy article 15X could not have been written.

    It’s so glaring a reason, I don’t see how Mike thought he could slip another conspiracy item past us.

    Fail

  61. jollyrob68 says: Apr 6, 2013 1:00 PM

    Wasn’t Wes Welker a RFA when Bill B signed him? He then gave Miami a 2& 7 for him.

  62. bencoates57 says: Apr 6, 2013 1:19 PM

    That’s why they call it RESTRICTED free agency. It’s not supposed to be easy.

  63. bencoates57 says: Apr 6, 2013 1:21 PM

    jollyrob68,

    Everyone made a big deal out of the poison pill in the contract that made it difficult for Miami to hold on to him. Cam Cameron did not seem that broken up over it at the time. The deal had the feel of a kidnapping — like BB and the boys went down to Florida in the middle of the night and loaded a half-sleeping Welker into an unmarked commercial van.

  64. chawk12thman says: Apr 6, 2013 1:45 PM

    Mike, I disagree with your premise. RFA collusion is non existent. Please read the responses and comments by your readers. Their points are valid. If they could take a quality player for value, they would. Business is business.

    Your theory lacks substance and falls on deaf ears.

  65. vikesfansteve says: Apr 6, 2013 1:56 PM

    Totally collusion just like baseball in the 80′s.

  66. croteus says: Apr 6, 2013 2:11 PM

    FinFan68 says:Apr 6, 2013 11:28 AM

    To those of you concerned about Danario Alexander: The Chargers would likely match any offer given. His injury concerns are valid: a hammy that hasn’t healed and 5 (yes, 5) knee surgeries. He is a red zone threat role player. Any offer to him will be fairly low or short-term and the team would just be doing the Chargers’ work free of charge
    —————————————————-
    What work? He’s a RFA. He either signs the contract tender or doesn’t. I doubt the Chargers are looking to lock him up past this year, in case those injury problems come up again. A team giving him an offer sheet would simply be raising the price on the Chargers. They only have 6.1 million under the cap, with several glaring holes and draft picks to sign. It’s a very real possibility they wouldn’t match an offer.

  67. Roger Emeka says: Apr 6, 2013 4:01 PM

    While I agree that teams are better off using their draft picks to fill those needs, if you are a team like the Rams who has two first round picks, it would’nt be a bad move to go after a Cruz and offer him $2 million more per season than his market worth.

  68. FinFan68 says: Apr 6, 2013 4:07 PM

    croteus said 1 hour ago:
    FinFan68 says:Apr 6, 2013 11:28 AM

    To those of you concerned about Danario Alexander: The Chargers would likely match any offer given. His injury concerns are valid: a hammy that hasn’t healed and 5 (yes, 5) knee surgeries. He is a red zone threat role player. Any offer to him will be fairly low or short-term and the team would just be doing the Chargers’ work free of charge
    —————————————————-
    What work? He’s a RFA. He either signs the contract tender or doesn’t. I doubt the Chargers are looking to lock him up past this year, in case those injury problems come up again. A team giving him an offer sheet would simply be raising the price on the Chargers. They only have 6.1 million under the cap, with several glaring holes and draft picks to sign. It’s a very real possibility they wouldn’t match an offer.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Do you think they just pull some numbers out of a hat, write them down and everybody’s happy? There is work that goes into figuring out what a player’s value is. That is complicated by an injury history in this case. Then there is the effort put towards the negotiations. The Chargers wouldn’t have to do anything other than evaluate the final signed offer and make a decision. The other team is the one doing the work and negotiating with the agent and getting the player to actually sign the deal.

  69. mikel119 says: Apr 6, 2013 4:45 PM

    Nobody want them because they are gay.

  70. hodag54501 says: Apr 6, 2013 6:05 PM

    Tom Crabtree, a reserve tight end for Green Bay, signed a contract with Tampa Bay. Crabtree was an RFA with Green Bay.

  71. mattseas says: Apr 6, 2013 6:31 PM

    I’m surprised not more offers are made from teams with extra picks from trades or compensation selections. I think it would be smart business to make more offers even if they’re declined or matched. Why not make an offer to a player for below market value but above the restricted free agent salary? It would put the player in risky position-take a little more money now or MAYBE a lot more later. Then the team could potentially get a proven commodity below market price if the player takes the deal. If not then not then oh well. And if the other team matches then at least you’re hurting your competitor’s cap space to sign other players.

  72. contract says: Apr 6, 2013 6:42 PM

    Percy Harvin is obviously the only WR in the NFL worth draft pick compensation and a huge new contract.

  73. bbk1000 says: Apr 6, 2013 7:48 PM

    “If that’s not the result of collusion, then why is it happening?”

    Because you’re frustrated at receiving repeated bad haircuts?

  74. thraiderskin says: Apr 6, 2013 8:23 PM

    I don’t think Mike is that far off. Victor Cruz is worth a late 1st rounder, I dare someone to prove that statement false. If a guy like Cruz isn’t getting offer sheets, something is up. I do believe that if certain teams hadn’t been robbed of their cap space, some moves would have been made.

  75. lbmclean says: Apr 6, 2013 10:00 PM

    I think its not happening because teams know they will be matched

    how do you explain the lack of the RFA market since the defacto outlawing of the poison pill?

    Welker went to the Patriots because the Fins had a poison pill held over their head

    unless it is a GM pride thing. alot of GM’s suck and have their fans screaming “I would rather have Sam Shields than see you waste another 2nd round draft pick”. it is kind of a no-brainer, but the GM has a bigger ego than a brain

  76. thefiesty1 says: Apr 6, 2013 10:35 PM

    Unfortunately RFA’s are a dime a dozen.. That’s too bad. Wake until the draft, then we’ll see what’s really going on,

  77. zoltan378 says: Apr 7, 2013 1:44 AM

    I don’t know about collusion…I just think giving up a 1, 2, or 3 round draft pick and overpaying for a guy you only might get doesn’t make a lot of sense .

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