The first weekend project for the first Saturday after the Super Bowl has been to compile a full, reliable, and accurate list of impending free agents.
With three divisions done (AFC East, AFC North, and AFC South), the biggest inaccuracy we’ve seen so far in other publications is the designation of Jaguars running back Jordan Todman as a restricted free agent. According to the Jaguars, he’s an exclusive-rights free agent.
Via NFLPA records, Todman’s contract expired after the 2013 season. Via NFL.com’s player page, Todman has only one accrued season, despite being in the league for three total years. All players with fewer than three accrued seasons are exclusive-rights free agents when their contracts expire.
As an exclusive-rights free agent, Todman has two options: Play for the Jaguars or play for no one. While he’s not subject to fines if he doesn’t accept his exclusive-rights tender, Todman can’t join another team. Which means he’s not really a free agent at all.
It could be a distinction without much of a difference, given that the restricted free agency market largely has dried up in recent years. The Patriots signed Steelers receiver Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet last year. Other than that, there has been limited activity since the new CBA was negotiated in 2011.
The fact that Todman will be a Jaguar or nothing in 2014 gives the Jags a little extra leverage in any negotiations with Maurice Jones-Drew, since Jacksonville can’t lose both of them this year.
Todman rushed for 256 yards in 2013, with another 116 yards receiving. He appeared in every game, started twice, and scored three touchdowns.