What Is a Tendered Contract in Nfl

As an NFL fan, you may have heard the term “tendered contract” being thrown around, but what does it actually mean? In simple terms, it refers to an offer made by an NFL team to a restricted free agent in order to retain the player`s services for another season.

Let`s break it down further.

Restricted Free Agent (RFA)

A restricted free agent (RFA) is a player who has completed three accrued seasons in the NFL but does not have an expiring contract. In other words, the player has become a free agent, but the team that he currently plays for has the right to match any offer he receives from another team.

Tender Offer

To prevent RFAs from signing with other teams easily, NFL teams have the option of making a tender offer. A tender is essentially a one-year contract offer that sets the player`s salary at a predetermined amount.

There are three types of tenders: First-round tender, Second-round tender, and Original-round tender. The type of tender offered depends upon the level of compensation a player receives if he signs with another team. First-round tenders offer the highest level of compensation, while original-round tenders offer the least.

If another team signs an RFA who has been tendered, the player`s original team has the right to match the contract and keep the player. If the original team chooses not to match the offer, the new team must compensate the original team with draft picks.

Why Do NFL Teams Use Tender Offers?

NFL teams use tender offers to retain the rights to restricted free agents without offering them a fully guaranteed long-term contract. This way, teams can keep their best players while maintaining flexibility with their salary cap.

Additionally, tender offers allow teams to recoup draft picks if they choose not to match an offer from another team. This is particularly useful for teams that have a lot of roster holes to fill.

In conclusion, tendered contracts are an essential part of the NFL free agency process, allowing teams to retain their best players while maintaining financial flexibility. As a fan, keep an eye out for which players are offered tenders during the offseason, as it can provide a clue as to which players a team values most.