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Restricted free agency a farce?

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Blue Bolt, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Restricted free agency market still nonexistent
    Posted by Mike Florio on April 6, 2013, 8:49 AM EDT
    Last year, none of the 42 restricted free agents signed offers sheets with new teams. This year, none of nearly 40 restricted free agents have signed offer sheets with new teams.
    At a certain point, the existence of an informal understanding among NFL teams to lay off each other’s restricted free agents becomes the only reasonable conclusion. If that’s the case, it’s a clear case of collusion.
    Since the uncapped year of 2010, in which restricted free agency dramatically expanded on a one-time basis to include players with four or five years of service, only one RFA has signed an offer sheet with a new team. That was running back Mike Bell, a restricted free agent with the Saints who signed an offer sheet with the Eagles.
    In four years of restricted free agency classes — four years — no other player has signed an offer sheet.
    Last year’s 0-fer was explained away by the exorbitant contract that former Steelers receiver Mike Wallace wanted. And, generally, some believe that teams shouldn’t waste their time negotiating a contract that the player’s current team can match.
    But with more and more teams having cap trouble and a large cluster of teams having more than $10 million remaining, it’s easier than ever to craft a front-loaded offer sheet that, say, the Giants would have a hard time matching for receiver Victor Cruz (who has a first-round tender), the Ravens would have a hard time matching for tight end Dennis Pitta (who has a second-round tender), and/or the Steelers would have a hard time matching for receiver Emmanuel Sanders (who has a third-round tender).
    Coincidentally (or not), the league’s in-house media company reported before the start of free agency that, as to Cruz, “there is already a ton of interest and plenty of teams just waiting for their opening.” Since March 12, Cruz has been doing the salsa to the sound of crickets. Pitta likewise drew “preliminary interest” from several unnamed teams.
    Still, only one RFA — Sanders — took a visit, three weeks ago to the Patriots. And it’s hard not to at least wonder whether the normally ultra-secretive Patriots, who routinely insist on full discretion from players in whom they are interested, allowed the Sanders visit to be reported in order to help create the sense that restricted free agency has not gone the way of the dodo bird.
    Regardless of any interest — real, imagined, or exaggerated — that teams have in Cruz, Pitta, Sanders, it hasn’t translated into an offer sheet being signed (or, as far as anyone knows, even offered) to a single restricted free agent since Mike Bell in 2010.
    With the league recently defending the relative lack of activity in unrestricted free agency by claiming that “[p]layer signings in 2013 have been characterized by robust spending and intense competition,” there has been no spending and nocompetition for restricted free agents.
    If that’s not the result of collusion, then why is it happening?
  2. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    So, for all of those fans worried that the Chargers were going to lose Alexander because they put the lowest tender on him........ the reality is, that the odds are slim some other team tries to poach him.
  3. Nomad
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    Nomad Very Senior Member

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    I would ask if it is really collusion, or is the mechanism flawed? Maybe they need to change how RFA tenders, signings, and compensation are handled. It would seem that there is little incentive to spend time working out a contract with a player and then the original team just matches the offer.
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  4. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Well, in Alexander's case, that wouldn't be a big deal, since no draft pick compensation is involved. But, with higher tenders, I believe most teams think the price is too high to pay.

    Also, with the new rookie salary scale, draft picks are even more valuable than before. Still, there are teams with good players that are up against the cap, and other teams with lots of cap space. A "poison pill" deal could be done that the current team couldn't match.... that isn't happening though.
  5. Bolts4lyfe
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    Bolts4lyfe BoltTalker

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    To be honest the way this FA period has been going DX would be lucky to get 2 years 3 million from us or any team.
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  6. Moses
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    Moses Yeah Buddy!

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    That'd be nice for us.
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  7. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    I'll also throw out something that may seem absolutely outlandish (particularly to those in the media) but perhaps... wait for it... it's not ALL about money for some of these players. Or maybe it IS and they're just not seeing the kind of contract numbers floated their way to even get them to consider uprooting their families/homes, jumping from (particularly in the case of the team's mentioned for this year's crop) successful/winning teams with quality quarterbacks, and/or potentially alienating teammates if the offer sheet is matched and they are retained.

    Just because offer sheets aren't being tendered doesn't mean that there isn't chatter going both ways between player agents and front offices - but in the case of say Emmanuel Sanders what exactly is his motivation to rush to sign a middling deal that priced only to the point that "it's high enough" that Pittsburgh can't current match it - perhaps he's asking more for the kind of scratch he'd expect to get on the open market and no team is willing to fork over that plus a draft pick to get him. In the case of Victor Cruz it's pretty naive to assume that after Mike Wallace just got the AAV and guaranteed money that he got and then consider what Harvin got post-trade that Cruz isn't demanding Vincent Jackson money-plus - and this for a player who has had the luxury of playing opposite a more proven #1 and with a (much as it pains me to say) Pro Bowl caliber QB - this plus having to surrender a 1st round pick.

    Per usual, Mike Florio's scope of thinking is extremely short-sighted.
  8. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Florio isn't payed to think...... he's payed to generate web clicks. ;)
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  9. The LBC
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    The LBC I'm a Real Prick

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    Well... sort of. He's the one doing the paying of the ones generating the clicks. It's sad, but he's effectively becoming the internet's version of Skip Bayless (if Bayless owned his own website that was cosponsored by a major TV network) - tabloid journalism at its finest. Given Acee's new penchant for bitter finger-pointing, maybe that's the road KA's put himself on as well.
  10. Blue Bolt
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    Blue Bolt Persona Non Grata

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    Acee is strictly small potatoes....... but he does know how to be an *******. :rolleyes:

    My certainty that Rivers is an elite quarterback is thoroughly documented. If you think I am advocating for his time in San Diego to be winding down, you are either illiterate or willfully ignorant.
  11. Ikeman83
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    Ikeman83 Werter Pöbel

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    RFA is a bad deal for the team giving up picks. The only players who are tendered an offer requiring no (or low) draft compensation are typically ones with some kind of an issue, or who are very middling players. Why would you pay 50-60 million for a receiver AND a draft pick? Anyone who would have considered Cruz had the opportunity to grab Wallace without having to offer any compensation. Plus, you can just look at the expected cap situation for their team next year and get the player the following season without having to offer draft picks.

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