One of the often-forgotten pieces of the free agency puzzle in the NFL is Restricted Free Agency. Players whose contracts expire after completing three accrued years of NFL experience fall into this category, and the RFA process allows their previous teams to have a greater level of control over them for their fourth seasons.
According to a report by CBS’ Jason La Canfora on Monday evening, the tender amounts for restricted free agents have been announced and are as follows:
- Right of first-refusal only: $1.8 million
- 2nd-round pick plus ROFR: $2.7 million
- 1st-round pick plus ROFR: $3.9 million
Teams must issue these tenders to any of their RFA players prior to 4:00 PM Eastern Time on March 9th in order to maintain their RFA rights; otherwise, those players will become unrestricted free agents instead.
The Packers have two Restricted Free Agents in 2017: outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott and inside linebacker Jordan Tripp. Of the two, Elliott is the one who could make a case for earning a tender, as he has become a key special teams contributor and has made a handful of big plays on defense in his limited snaps. In addition, the team is short-handed at his position, with only Clay Matthews, Kyler Fackrell, and Reggie Gilbert under contract for 2017.
However, those factors make it likely that Elliott would only receive the “low” tender, which would allow the Packers to match any offer sheet Elliott might receive from another team. His contributions would be unlikely to require one of the higher tenders, both because it is difficult to imagine another team being willing to part with a high draft pick for him and also because those tender values are likely too high given his contributions to the Packers.