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Packers begin tendering exclusive-rights free agents by keeping TE Robert Tonyan

Big Bob will indeed be back in green and gold this fall.

Green Bay Packers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

With one player re-signed for 2019 earlier when the team locked in defensive lineman Fadol Brown on a one-year contract, the Packers have ensured that another young, promising player will remain in the organization for the coming season. According to Tom Silverstein of Packersnews,com, the team has submitted an exclusive-rights free agent tender to tight end Robert Tonyan in order to retain his rights for this year.

The young tight end suited up in every game for the Packers last season but was used sparingly on offense, only receiving a few snaps per game. However, he did have a memorable 54-yard touchdown reception from Aaron Rodgers against the Seattle Seahawks in week 11 and finished with four catches for 77 yards on the season.

ERFA players are those whose contracts have expired but who have two or fewer accrued seasons towards free agency. If a team issues an ERFA tender to these players before the start of free agency (March 13th for this season), that team will maintain exclusive negotiation rights with those players for that offsesaon. The tender consists of a one-year contract at the league minimum salary, but players may negotiate for a longer-term deal if they wish.

The Packers had six players qualifying for ERFA status this offseason, and they have now signed one (Brown) and tendered one other in Tonyan. Expect to hear of tenders for at least a few of the other players before the start of free agency on Wednesday. The other ERFA players are OLB Reggie Gilbert, WR Jake Kumerow, and guards Justin McCray and Lucas Patrick.