The Packers announced Wednesday that they had submitted qualifying offers to eight of their restricted and one of their exclusive rights free agents.
I'm a little surprised they didn't at least offer a contract to P Jeremy Kapinos so he could compete for the job in 2010, but he was the worst punter in the NFL last season.
So far it looks like they've made contract offers to keep the following restricted free agents: CB Will Blackmon, S Atari Bigby, LG Daryn Colledge, S Nick Collins, DE Johnny Jolly, FB John Kuhn, C/G Jason Spitz, and CB Tramon Williams. Plus exclusive rights free agent TE Spencer Havner. Greg Bedard put together a handy chart listing all the restricted and exclusive rights free agents, the expected compensation if they sign elsewhere, and the expected cost for 2010. This year's draft is a good one, so I don't expect any teams are eager to surrender their 2nd round pick even for a solid player like Jolly. Plus the Packers can still always match the other team's offer. They matched CB Jarrett Bush's contract offer from the Titans last year.
It looks like they are not interested in RB DeShawn Wynn and Kapinos. Wynn can't stay healthy, and Kapinos was awful in 2009, so neither move is surprising. They still could be resigned, but the Packers don't have a right-of-first-refusal, and they would not receive any compensation if they signed elsewhere.
There is the matter of the price tag...
From Tom Silverstein at JS Online.com:
All totaled, the Packers may be committing as much as $14 million in offers to their restricted free agents.
It's a lot of money, but the list includes seven players who started at least one game in 2009, and at least three starters for 2010. Plus it keeps a lot of good young players under the team's control, and it potentially doesn't cost anything if they decide later they don't want to keep someone like Kuhn or Blackmon. From Brad Biggs:
Here is the thing about these RFA tenders: They are not guaranteed. So if the Packers believe it’s too much money to play one of these players as the season approaches, or decide it’s too much to pay one of them to be a backup, they can be released at no cost.
These moves all make sense. I still don't want to see Colledge starting in 2010, but the smart move is to keep him under their control until after the April draft and see if he can show some improvement in training camp.