With the passing of May 9 came the expiration of the impact of free-agency contracts upon the compensatory draft-pick formula. With one important exception.
For any teams that made a tender offer to any of its unrestricted free agents before May 9, the team secures two key rights, per a league source with knowledge of the situation.
First, the team acquires exclusive negotiating rights with the player, if he doesn’t sign elsewhere before July 22. From July 22 through the Tuesday after Week 10 of the regular season, the player can sign only with his prior team. Second, if the May 9 tender is made and the player signs with a new team before July 22, the transaction counts toward the compensatory draft pick formula for 2018.
The Patriots, PFT has learned, made the May 9 tender to running back LeGarrette Blount. The offer amounts to 110 percent of his total pay in 2016, which was $1 million.
It’s a rarely-used device, as one source explained it to PFT. Over the years since the free agency system was put in place, similar offers have been made only a handful of times.
So Blount has an offer of $1.1 million for one year, and if he signs elsewhere before July 22, the departure will count toward New England’s compensatory draft picks. After July 22, he can only sign with the Patriots for 2017.
Blount has been linked in recent days to the Lions and the Giants.
The Patriots did not extend a May 9 offer to their other two remaining unrestricted free agents: receiver Michael Floyd (who has signed with the Vikings) and defensive end Greg Scruggs.