Less than a day to go, and no RFA offer sheets have been signed

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Once upon a time, restricted free agents signed offer sheets with new teams.  Sometimes, those offer sheets were matched.  Sometimes, they weren’t.  Either way, it was a key part of the player movement/contract process.

Lately, restricted free agency has dried up.  In 2010, when the rules of the uncapped year pushed eligibility for unrestricted free agency from four years to six years of service, only one player (former NFL running back Mike Bell) signed an offer sheet.  That led to a collusion claim from the NFLPA.

This year, with 42 restricted free agents and the period for signing restricted free agents to offer sheets expiring at midnight, no offer sheets have been signed.

For players like Steelers receiver Mike Wallace, who reportedly wants huge money, it makes sense to keep the first-round pick that would go to the Steelers as compensation and use it on a rookie who would be paid far less money over the next five years.  But for players like Steelers starting left guard/backup center Doug Legursky, who could have been had with no compensation at all, the fact that no one tried to sign him makes no sense.

Unless, of course, teams have agreed among themselves not to try to sign each other’s restricted free agents.  Which would be collusion.

After 2013, restricted free agency will become even less relevant (if that’s possible), given that all contract for drafted rookies now are at least four years in duration.  Thus, come 2014, only undrafted players or players cut within three years of being drafted and not claimed on waivers will ever be restricted free agents.

Still, with the relationship between the NFL and NFLPA suddenly deteriorating, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the union claims that collusion has forced the 42 restricted free agents to play under one-year deals in 2012.

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41 responses to “Less than a day to go, and no RFA offer sheets have been signed

  1. Or it could be teams value their draft picks more than giving them up and a big money deal for a player.

    Nope got it but your right MUST be Collusion.

  2. NFL basically admitted to collusion by taking away cap space from Dallas and Washington, so it isnt too shocking that collusion is also happening with RFAs.

    Dont sign other teams RFAs, and the rest of the owners wont sign yours. As a result, you get top talent for a salary of 1-2 million for one extra year. Too bad NFLPA is useless.

  3. Doug legursky not being signed isnt proof of collusion, its proof that the steelers have lineman starting for them that nobody in the nfl wants.

  4. Wallace told the Niners that he wanted “Larry Fitzgerald type Money”.

  5. I dont understand if your a team that needs a WR and your not getting Blackman or Flyod why haven’t you signed Mike Wallace? Houston sign Wallace and your a serious Super Bowl Contender.

  6. Seems that some dumb, stupid, ignorant union negotiated and signed a ridiculous one sided contract.

  7. I believe that Wallace has made it clear that he wants “Fitzgerald money” when he signs his next deal. With the value of draft picks higher than ever before because of the wage scale negotiated by the union, the lack of interest in the RFA market is not surprising. If a restricted free agent player is willing to factor in a discount because of the extra cost (draft pick award) to his new team then I am sure there would be some activity in this market. Show me a single player who is willing to discount their new deal rather than wait a year for unrestricted status.

  8. We’d see in a couple years if a team signs one of the RFAs. The league would approve the transaction. Then in two years, the league would dock them $10M.

    …especially if it is a Giant’s RFA.

  9. Collusion…or, just maybe, no GM in his right mind offered a first rounder to the Jets for Aaron Maybin.

    Seriously, this “collusion” non-story as it relates to not signing RFAs is getting really old. Stop running it. Please. If you’d look at the list of RFAs, you’d see there is NO value whatsoever in what teams wanted.

    If you want to allege collusion in that teams agreed to slap ridiculously high tenders on marginal players, fine. But implying that there is any value whatsoever in the RFA market and teams have agreed not to sign said valuable players is absurd.

  10. Or the money, that would be required to attract a guy like Legursky – who is essentially a dime a dozen in the NFL – is not worth it. You can draft a cheaper younger version than what it takes to sign a Legursky away from another team.

    But, it is much easier to get hits on a slow news day to shout collusion.

  11. majbobby says:
    Apr 20, 2012 2:24 PM
    Or it could be teams value their draft picks more than giving them up and a big money deal for a player.

    Nope got it but your right MUST be Collusion.


    Of course, if you actually read the entire bit, you would notice that not all of the players would have required draft pick compensation. So, while your point about picks may apply to some players like Wallace, it still seems fishy that none of the players that didn’t require picks weren’t signed.

  12. MajBooby- how about reading the article? he’s talking about the ones who don’t have draft picks assigned to the RFA tender, sure looks like collusion to me.

  13. Hey Red – Their was a report that 49ers were interested in signing Wallace and he wanted a Larry Fitz type deal and they pasted. They were thinking S. Holmes type money instead. So they moved on.

  14. Maybe Doug Legursky isn’t that good a player? Have you considered that or is that the best example of collusion you can find? Any more?

    Really… have you watched the Steelers offensive line lately? You think teams are lining up to sign a free agent from that unit? Go ask Max Starks.

    Or (and I hate to burst your bubble), Legursky LIKES being a Steeler. They did give him a shot as an undrafted player. He’s from West Virginia and currently is penciled in at starting LG right now.

    You really think someone’s gonig to throw him considerably more money/length on a deal to be a backup swing G/C?

    If Legursky is the best example you got, this whole article has no merit and neither would a grievance by the union.

    You sound like a conspiracy theorist more than a journalist sometimes.

  15. Legursky is not a good player — that’s why he didn’t get an offer.

    Just because he’s better than most of the pathetically obese, unathletic linemen in Pittsburgh does not mean he has any actual value for a real, professional-level o-line.

  16. The reason the relationship between the league and the NFLPA continues to deteriorate is because DeMO Smith is STILL involved. He should have been in the unemployment line during last years debacle.

  17. Cincy should go after Wallace. They are way under the cap so they could afford him. They would better their team and hurt their division rival. Plus, they have a 1st rounder to spare after the Palmer trade so them giving up the compensating pick wouldn’t hurt them that much. It makes so much sense. With Dalton throwing to Green, Wallace, and Gresham that offense would be awesome.

  18. Are you sure about this?

    Carroll County Times’ writer Aaron Wilson (you guys link to his articles fairly frequently) reported 2 days ago that Dannell Ellerbe (Ravens LB) had signed his RFA tender.

  19. Never mind my previous comment. You meant that no RFA agreed to an offer by another team, not that no one had signed their RFA tenders.

    My mistake.

  20. Mike Wallace is a terrible example. No one in their right mind, even Dan Snyder, would give Wallace the type of money he thinks he’s worth.

  21. I love Mike Wallace, but that boy is crazy if he thinks he is going to get Megatron money. He would need to grow five inches, increase his vertical by 8 inches, get faster, demand a double team on the goal line, catch 30 more passes and 7 more TD’s per season.

    That said, he is and outstanding player and someone picking at the bottom of round 1 should offer him a 3 year – $40 million contract with $28 million guaranteed and see if he really wants to play one more year for $2.5 mil.

    Unfortunately, the Ravens have no cap room and the Bengals do. Luckily, the Bengals are historically cheap.

  22. It’s rather understandable that teams aren’t willing to part with first-round picks, because the new CBA has made them much more valuable than they were before.

  23. As a fan maybe the owners getting together and agree among them to keep hands off the players is a good thing. The way the league is going players are wanting more and more and giving up less and less. A lot of players are asking for way more money than worth and many have moved on to other teams and not done well.

  24. Honestly, other than Wallace (and there’s no way in hell he’s worth Fitzgerald money) who on the RFA market is worth signing an offer sheet to? Most of the time RFAs are mostly just depth/backup guys, not stars. Not worth a draft pick/money.

  25. I also want to make the comment it has to be an offer the original team won’t MATCH!

    Most of these guys are minimum salary guys already so no one is going to overpay so much the original team won’t match.

    Maybe the elimination of the “poison pill” has something to do with less RFA’s signing with other teams? Ever consider that or mention that point in your article? Thought not….

    Legursky is already getting DOUBLE minimum salary as a RFA. $1.26 million.

    Do you really think a team is going to sign him to a 3 or 4 year deal worth $10 million or something? Seriously? And why would Legursky take a 3 or 4 year deal @ $6 million total? The Steelers would match that or he might start all 16 games this season, become a decent starter and get better money than that next year.

    Your article is just horse manure unless you find me a better RFA example that you consider “collusion”.

    Legursky is the worst example you could have picked.

  26. Legursky is a solid backup, not someone other teams would be climbing over each other to sign. Odd example if you’re trying to suggest collusion.

    And Wallace has said he wants Fitzgerald money. Sorry, but he’s not worth Fitzgerald money to anyone, including the Steelers. The operative word there is delusion, not collusion. If he sticks to that demand, he may just sit out the season.

  27. I lost track of how many articles were on this site stating Wallace would be a Patriot, 49er, Bengal, etc.

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