Inside The Bills

2009 restricted free agent tender amounts

Posted by Chris Brown on January 15, 2009 – 5:07 pm

For 2009 the restricted free agent tender amounts have gone up again and are really becoming cost prohibitive for NFL teams. Once again there is a low tender, middle tender and two high tenders that teams can use on players to not only give them the right of first refusal if said player is presented with an offer sheet from another team, but increased draft pick compensation as well.

Here are the tender amounts

Low tender – right of first refusal & original draft pick – $1.01 million

(So if Keith Ellison were tendered at this level by Buffalo, another team signed him to an offer sheet and the Bills chose not to match they’d be compensated with a 6th-round pick since Ellison was a 6th round draft choice)

Middle tender – right of first refusal & 2nd round pick – $1.545 million

(Compensation is a 2nd round pick if original club chooses not to match any offer sheet)

High tender – right of first refusal & 1st round pick – $2.198 million

Highest tender – right of first refusal & 1st and 3rd round picks – $2.792 million

(When Michael Turner was a RFA two years ago he was tendered at this highest level)

The crazy thing is even the low tender is a big number now at over $1M. I’d expect more and more teams to sign restricted free agents to long term deals for less money per season than this low tender if they want one of their restricted free agents back in the fold. Buffalo did this with Jabari Greer two years ago. They didn’t tender him at all and re-signed him to a modest two-year deal.

They should be able to do that with the likes of George Wilson, Keith Ellison, Gibran Hamdan, Justin Jenkins or even John DiGiorgio, who is coming off ACL surgery, depending on who they want back.

Dustin Fox is the only other RFA, but in light of the fact that he did not make the opening day roster last year, I’m not confident he’s a top priority on this list.


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Posted in Inside the Bills