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ClientNumber9
LSU Fan
Spokane, WA
Member since Feb 2009
4153 posts

Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


As Free Agency season approaches, I thought I would do a PSA for the casual Saints/NFL fan that may find their way over to the board. Starting next week on March 12th, NFL teams can officially contact, negotiate with and sign free agents. Words like Restricted Free Agents (RFAs), Unrestricted Free Agents (UFAs) and tender offers will be flying around. Here's a basic rundown on what those terms mean:

Unrestricted Free Agents

An unrestricted free agent (UFA) is a tenured player that has four seasons or more of experience in the NFL and is not currently bound by any contract. An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any club between March 12 and July 21 with no draft choice compensation owed to his old team. If he is not resigned by June 1st, his old team gains exclusive negotiating rights with the player.

Restricted Free Agents

A restricted free agent (RFA) is a tenured player that has three seasons of experience in the NFL and whose contract has expired. A restricted free agent is free to negotiate with any team between March 12 and April 19. However, should an RFA reach an agreement with a new team, the old team has "first right of refusal" and can resign the player for that amount.

Tender Offers

While a restricted free agent is free to negotiate with any other team, that player's original team may place a tender offer on the player.

It works like this- if RFA John Doe decides to test free agency and shop his value to other teams, Doe's team may place, say, a first round tender offer on the player. Doe and a new team agree to a one year deal for $2.4M. Doe's old team can either resign Doe for $2.4M or let him sign with his new team. If Doe's old team lets him go, Doe's new team has to give up their first round pick. Obviously, the more a team wants to retain an RFA, the higher the tender offer they place on the player.

If a player is offered with a first year tender, he will entitled to $2.879M in compensation. A second round tender offer is entitled to $2.023M in compensation. An original round tender (meaning the old team will receive a pick in the same round that the player was originally drafted) will net the player $1.323M in compensation.

Note: Undrafted restricted free agents may receive original round tenders. However, this only allows their current team to match an offer the tendered player signed with another team. The losing team, though given no compensation, is still given "first right of refusal" and is allowed to match any deal offered by a new team to their undrafted free agents.






This post was edited on 3/5 at 9:48 am



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Hugo Stiglitz
USA Fan
Disregard Monarchy, Acquire Chicken
Member since Oct 2010
55698 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


Solid refresher course.





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bbrownso
LSU Fan
Member since Mar 2008
2582 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


Pretty good but this section could be a little confusing.

quote:

Note: Undrafted free agents are not entitled to draft pick tender offers. However, old teams are still given "first right of refusal" and are allowed to match any deal offered by a new team to their undrafted free agents.


That could be explained better. Something like: Undrafted players may receive original round tenders but it only allows their current team to match an offer the tendered player signed with another team.






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NS Who Dat Nation
New Orleans Saints Fan
Mandeville
Member since Jul 2007
8203 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


Very well done. An ignorant public is a dangerous public.


quote:

Note: Undrafted free agents are not entitled to draft pick tender offers.


So we cannot put a 1st or 2nd round tender on Ivory?






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ClientNumber9
LSU Fan
Spokane, WA
Member since Feb 2009
4153 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


I'm on my phone right now and can't get too detailed, but we can tender Ivory. The fact that he was undrafted means the tender offer ties into the salary amount his new team would have to pay him vs. any compensatory picks. An original tender is different than a round tender. I'll clear this up when i get into the office in a bit and i have my full keyboard.

ETA: You can tender any player for any round. The fact that Ivory was undrafted means that the Saints will not receive compensation if someone takes him off our hands. We just get the draft pick at which we tendered him for. Most likely scenario? No one takes Ivory for a 2nd rounder, then we trade him for a 4th or 5th rounder.



This post was edited on 3/5 at 9:40 am


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ClientNumber9
LSU Fan
Spokane, WA
Member since Feb 2009
4153 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


quote:

That could be explained better. Something like: Undrafted players may receive original round tenders but it only allows their current team to match an offer the tendered player signed with another team.


Good point. I'll reword that section.






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Bear Is Dead
LSU Fan
Monroe
Member since Nov 2007
3349 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


quote:

No one takes Ivory for a 2nd rounder, then we trade him for a 4th or 5th rounder.

Yes but the negative is that if no one takes the trade bait, we owe Ivory (a 4th string RB) $2+MM






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ClientNumber9
LSU Fan
Spokane, WA
Member since Feb 2009
4153 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


quote:

Yes but the negative is that if no one takes the trade bait, we owe Ivory (a 4th string RB) $2+MM


I'm optimistic that the Saints already have significant interest in Ivory for a trade and they're not doing this in the blind. This isn't Mike Ditka and Bill Kuharich running the organization any more (or so I keep telling myself).






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blueslover
New Orleans Saints Fan
soon to be south of zero
Member since Sep 2007
20779 posts

re: Free Agency 101: Unrestricted vs. Restricted Free Agents & Tender Offers


HERE is some basics I usually pass along to anyone interested.

good FAQ here






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