ESPN’s Field Yates reported on Monday that Green Bay Packers tackle Yosh Nijman has officially signed his restricted free agent tender. Nijman, who has played both left and right tackle in Green Bay but finished the 2022 season as the preferred starter on the right side, will now make a guaranteed $4.3 million in 2023.
Nijman’s tender is a one-year deal, which will allow him to hit unrestricted free agency next offseason if he and the team cannot come to a long-term extension by then. The Packers placed a second-round tender on Nijman, which meant that a team would have had to have given up that level of a draft pick to sign Nijman in restricted free agency. The deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets with another team is April 21st, meaning that Nijman signed his deal a few days before teams were no longer allowed to offer him a contract.
After last season’s drama surrounding receiver Allen Lazard’s restricted free agent tender, it’s nice that the Packers could get this one out of the way quickly. Lazard did not officially sign his contract, even though the deadline to send Lazard an offer sheet had expired, up until mid-June. Because of the way the collective bargaining agreement is structured, teams aren’t allowed to fine players who miss out on mini-camp if they haven’t signed their deals yet. In Lazard’s case, he missed both mini-camp and an entire offseason’s worth of voluntary workouts in 2022 because he left his deal unsigned until June.
This offseason, Lazard left Green Bay in free agency and signed with the New York Jets. Hopefully, the Packers are on better terms with Nijman, who might be their right tackle of the future. With left tackle David Bakhtiari commanding a $40-plus million cap hit in 2024, there’s already a good chance that they’re going to make their blindside tackle a cap casualty next season. Green Bay might want to keep Nijman around long-term, just to ease their transition of left tackles in the near future.