Inside The Bills

Bills plan to tender RFAs

Posted by Chris Brown on February 24, 2011 – 5:22 pm

With reports that NFL clubs plan to make use of restricted free agent tenders to maintain rights to impending free agents, Bills GM Buddy Nix confirmed that Buffalo will be one of those teams.

“Our process is just like it always is,” Nix told “If we tender a guy it would be the same thing we’d have done last year as far as tendering and we will tender some guys.”

Nix wouldn’t provide names as to who might be tendered. Restricted free agents under the soon to expire CBA were typically players with less than four accrued NFL seasons. Last year under final league year rules it was any player with less than six accrued seasons. What the tender levels are exactly is also unknown. There is typically a low, middle and high tender.

Here are some of Buffalo’s free agents that could fall under restricted free agency.

RB Quinton Ganther
TE Scott Chandler
QB Brian Brohm
LB Paul Posluszny
OT Mansfield Wrotto

Long snapper Garrison Sanborn and TE Jonathan Stupar are exclusive rights free agents that are expected to be tendered.

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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

Free agency opens a couple of days earlier

Posted by Chris Brown on January 13, 2009 – 2:12 pm

Last season the NFL free agency period opened on March 1st, but with March 1st falling on a Sunday, free agency will open at 12:01am on Friday February 27th.

The day before (Feb. 26) will be the deadline for teams to tender qualifying offers to restricted free agents (e.g. John DiGiorgio) and exclusive rights free agents (e.g. Fred Jackson) to retain either right of first refusal or exclusive rights to said player.

The deadline for a restricted free agent to sign their tender is April 17.

The deadline to designate franchise and transition players is Feb. 19th.

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