Teams have a fifth option for RFA tenders

Earlier today, Rosenthal listed the various restricted free agency tenders that will apply to players who, in a capped year, would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency.

But a league source tells us that there’s another, little-known option.

Teams can secure a simple right of first refusal with no compensation via a $1.176 million tender for players with four years of service, and a $1.226 million tender for players with five years of service.

Though the base amounts are the same as the low tender that secures as compensation a draft pick from the round in which the player was drafted, the source explains that the no-compensation tender is fixed at $1.176 million and $1.226 million, respectively.  For the other levels, the tender increases upon request of the player to 110 percent of his 2009 compensation.

In the end, the lowest-level tender is a fairly low-cost device that will allow teams to let the market determine the long-term value of a player — as long as the team is willing to risk getting nothing in return if the team chooses not to match the deal.

The process becomes far more intriguing if the Steve Hutchinson/Nate Burleson poison pill is unleashed — and even more intriguing if teams choose not to use it.

3 responses to “Teams have a fifth option for RFA tenders

    The two of the four most hated words to Seahawks fans: Poison Pill. (the other two are Bill Leavy)

  2. Florio, I know that you have been going on about the poison pill for a while, and suggesting that it could be evidence of collusion if teams don’t use it. But if you think it all the way through, the poison pill does not benefit players by increasing salaries. It certainly doesn’t have that effect with a salary cap in place, but it doesn’t even have that effect with no cap.
    On the contrary, the poison pill is designed to allow the new team to be able to sign and obtain the player while paying LESS. The new team wants player X. Player X’s old team wants to keep him. The new team can (1) pay more than the old team would ever match, or (2) pay what it thinks the old team would match, and also insert a poison pill that makes it essentially impossible for them to match. Option (2) is less expensive for the new team and results in less being paid to player X than if the new team felt it had to truly outbid the old team.
    Thus, the lack of continued use of the poison pill strategy does not represent any evidence of collusion by NFL teams to dampen player salaries. It therefore would be great if you could stop making this groundless point.

  3. I’m not sure teams are going to use the “poison pill” clauses in the deals, because that would set a bad precedent across the league.

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