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Packers will not offer RFA tender to OLB Jayrone Elliott

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In a surprise move, the Packers are not reserving the right to match any contract offers to a young edge rusher and special teams player.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jayrone Elliott has flashed potential for three years with the Green Bay Packers. It seemed that every time he received any meaningful playing time on defense, he made a splash play, and he has become one of the team’s steadiest players on special teams.

After three years, Elliott goes into this offseason without a contract as a Restricted Free Agent. The league announced its RFA tenders just a few days ago, and it was assumed by this writer that the Packers would indeed offer Elliott the “low” tender, which would pay him $1.8 million for 2017 and would give the Packers the right to match any offer sheet given to him by another NFL team.

However, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky, the Packers are not in fact tendering Elliott, and the former Toledo Rocket will instead become an Unrestricted Free Agent as of 4 PM Eastern time this afternoon.

Elliott started his career with big performances in the 2014 and 2015 preseasons, recording multiple sacks in early action both years. After rarely seeing the field on defense as a rookie, Elliott had a critical performance in week two of the 2015 season, intercepting a pass and forcing a fumble in the fourth quarter of the Packers’ 27-17 win over the Seattle Seahawks. He recorded a total of three sacks that season, then had a single sack in 2016, also against Seattle.

However, Elliott may yet return to Green Bay as an Unrestricted Free Agent, as the team may have simply decided that the one-year, $1.8 million tender offer is just a bit too rich for his value. According to Ryan Wood of Packersnews.com, Elliott has “multiple offers” but there is still “mutual interest” between him and the Packers for a return.

Stay tuned for more.