Restricted free agency is usually to excitement as the library is to partying and Mobile, Alabama is to unsweetened iced tea.
Nevertheless, the 2015 RFA signing period, which ends Friday, has had a couple bursts of action.
Most notably, the Bills signed away tight end Charles Clay from Miami, giving him a five-year, $38 million contract. The deal was technically an RFA signing, per NFL rules, after the Dolphins gave Clay the transition tag, thus securing the right to match an offer sheet. But in the end, Miami let him walk.
Later in the signing period, the Buccaneers struck a three-year, $9 million deal with Lions RFA defensive end George Johnson. Detroit disputed the terms of the deal, but the clubs agreed to swap 2015 draft picks to settle the matter, with the Lions getting a fifth-rounder and the Buccaneers getting Johnson and a seventh-rounder.
While the Buccaneers and Bills got the players they sought, the Raiders struck out in their bid for Packers RFA safety Sean Richardson, with Green Bay matching the one-year, $2.55 million offer from Oakland.
As of Friday, here were the 10 remaining restricted free agents who had yet to sign their tender offers or receive an offer sheet from another club, per NFL records. (An 11th RFA, Ravens safety Will Hill, reportedly re-signed on Thursday, but it wasn’t reflected in the NFL’s daily transactions.)
The compensation due to the player’s original club if an offer sheet is unmatched is in parentheses:
— Broncos cornerback Tony Carter (right of first refusal).
— Browns safety Tashaun Gipson (second round).
— Browns nose tackle Ishmaa’illy Kitchen (right of first refusal).
— Buccaneers tailback Bobby Rainey (right of first refusal).
— Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (second round).
— Eagles running back Chris Polk (right of first refusal).
— Jets nose tackle Damon Harrison (second round).
— Jets safety Jaiquawn Jarrett (third round).
— Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse (second round).
— Steelers safety Robert Golden (right of first refusal).
In short, if there’s any more signing drama to occur in restricted free agency, it will center on one of these 10 players, and it will come on Friday.
No matter what happens, though, it’s been a fairly interesting RFA period nonetheless. There has been a little more chatter in the library this year.