The Green Bay Packers have quite a list of players to address this offseason, as the team has 23 players on the roster whose contracts expire during the 2018 offseason. Of those 23 players, ten are unrestricted free agents, two are restricted, and another eleven are exclusive-rights free agents.
This number would have been increased by two, if not for the team’s contract extensions for wide receiver Davante Adams and center Corey Linsley. Both of those players were set to be unrestricted free agents, but are now under contract beyond 2018. That leaves safety Morgan Burnett as the Packers’ most prominent free agent this offseason.
As a refresher, see below for descriptions of the different free agent categories. Free agency officially begins on March 14, 2018, on the first day of the 2018 league year.
Unrestricted Free Agency (UFA)
Players are free to begin formal negotiations and to sign with any NFL team after the start of the new league year at 4:00 PM Eastern Time on March 14th. Teams and agents can begin the “legal tampering period” on March 12th, which allows the negotiating of contract terms but not any formal agreements.
Players who change teams as unrestricted free agents factor into the compensatory draft pick formula for the following season.
Restricted Free Agency (RFA)
Teams may issue a RFA tender to these players prior to the start of the league year on March 14th. The tenders are for a one-year contract, with values to be defined when the salary cap for 2018 is finalized. Three tenders are available: first-round, second-round, and right-of-first-refusal.
After March 14th, teams may issue offer sheets to RFAs from other teams who received tenders from their original team. The original team may choose to match the terms of the offer sheet; if the original team declines, the team signing the player must give up the appropriate compensation as specified by the tender. Offer sheets must be submitted before April 20th.
RFAs who do not receive tenders before March 14th will become unrestricted free agents.
Exclusive-Rights Free Agency (ERFA)
Teams may issue an ERFA tender to these players; this tender is typically a one-year contract at the league minimum salary. If this tender is issued, the player may not negotiate with other NFL teams and must either sign the tender or negotiate a different contract with the team.
ERFA players who do not receive tenders by March 14th will become unrestricted free agents.
Here is the list of free agents for the Packers in 2018 (with statuses courtesy of Overthecap.com).
Packers 2018 Free Agents