This morning team President Tom Lewand announced which of the Lions’ nine restricted free agents would be tendered and the level they would be tendered at.
Player Tender Offer & Compensations:
DE Copeland Bryan – Not tendered
S Daniel Bullocks – Right of First Refusal (ROFR) & Original Draft Compensation*
C Dylan Gandy – ROFR & Original Draft Compensation
CB Kevin Hobbs – ROFR
DE Jason Hunter – ROFR & 2nd Round Compensation
G Daniel Loper – ROFR
G Manny Ramirez – ROFR & Original Draft Compensation
S Ko Simpson - ROFR & Original Draft Compensation
LB Cody Spencer - Not tendered
* NFL Rules state that if a team uses a second-round tender on a player who’s original round is less than that, then the compensation for any other former second-round pick who is tendered at their original round must drop one round. Since DE Jason Hunter entered the league as an undrafted free agent and was tendered with ROFR/2nd round pick, the compensation for S Daniel Bullocks, who was tendered at his original round (2nd round), would drop to a third round pick.
Lewand also confirmed the following players would be retained as exclusive rights free agents: LB Zack Follett, G Corey Hilliard, TE Jake Nordin, RB Cedric Peerman and CB DeAngelo Smith.
Among the players listed, defensive end Jason Hunter, who originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent, was tendered the highest based on his contributions last season.
Lewand: “Jason obviously contributed last year in a pretty significant way after we claimed him off waivers. I think he showed that he’s got the ability to contribute even more as he stays in the system and (grows in) his role. As we get more players in here and we get more talent around all of them, the guys who remain here will become even better and I put Jason in that category. Jason has value; defensive ends are valuable commodities in this league. It’s a valuable position and Jason had some production there last year.”
Moving forward, the main focus for Lewand and the rest of the Lions’ front office will be the free agent market.
With the start of free agency beginning tonight at midnight, they’ll have their work cut out for them.
Lewand: “As Martin (Mayhew) said last week, our plan is to be selectively aggressive. We have always been able to put together actions that match our plan and we’ll be ready tonight to be on the phone. After midnight, we’ll be in touch with the players that we’re interested in and we’ll see where it takes us. But we’re prepared and our team has done a good job of getting ready for the free agency period to begin and we’re looking forward to starting after midnight tonight.”
2010 NFL FREE AGENCY QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Q. When can players start being signed in the 2010 free agency signing period?
A. Beginning at 12:01 AM ET on Friday, March 5.
Q. What are the categories of free agency?
A. Players are either “restricted” or “unrestricted” free agents. Within the categories are also “transition” and “franchise” players.
Q. What is the time period for free agency signings this year?
A. For restricted free agents, from March 5 to April 15. For unrestricted free agents who have received the June 1 tender from their prior Club, from March 5 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). For franchise players, from March 5 until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the regular-season (November 16). If he does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season. There are no transition player designations this year.
Q. What is the difference between a restricted free agent and an unrestricted free agent?
A. In the 2010 League Year, players become restricted free agents when they complete three, four or five accrued seasons and their contract expires. Unrestricted free agents have completed six or more accrued seasons. An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any club with no compensation owed to his old club.
Q. What constitutes an “accrued season?”
A. Six or more regular-season games on a club’s active/inactive, reserved-injured or “physically unable to perform” lists.
Q. Other than accrued seasons, what determines a restricted free agent?
A. He has received a “qualifying” offer (a salary level predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players) from his old club. He can negotiate with any club through April 15. If the restricted free agent accepts an offer sheet from a new club, his old club can match the offer and retain him because it has the “right of first refusal.” If the old club does not match the offer, it can possibly receive draft-choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer. If an offer sheet is not executed, and the player receives the June 1 tender from his old club, the player’s rights revert exclusively to his old club on June 1.
Q. What determines an unrestricted free agent?
A. A player with six or more accrued seasons whose contract has expired. He is free to sign with any club, with no compensation owed to his old club, through July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). At that point, his rights revert to his old club if it made a “tender” offer (110 percent of last year’s salary) to him by June 1. His old club then has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season (November 16) to sign him. If he does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season. If no tender is offered by June 1, the player can be signed by any club at any time throughout the season.
Q. What determines a transition player?
A. A transition player must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of the prior season at the player’s
position or 120 percent of the player’s prior year’s salary, whichever is greater. A transition player designation gives
the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his
contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no draft pick compensation
from that club. In 2010, a club may designate a franchise player or a transition player in lieu of a franchise player, as
well as one additional transition player.
Q. What determines a franchise player?
A. The salary level offer by a player’s club determines what type of franchise player he is. An “exclusive” franchise player — not free to sign with another club — is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the current year as of April 15, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, or the average of the top five salaries at his position as of the end of last season — whichever of the three is greater. If a player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries of last season at his position, or 120 percent of the player’s previous year’s salary, he becomes a “non-exclusive” franchise player and can negotiate with other clubs. His old club can match a new club’s offer, or receive two first-round draft choices if it decides not to match.
Q. Can a club decide to withdraw its franchise or transition designations on a player?
Q. Can a club then use them on other players?
A. Not in the 2010 season. A club can withdraw its franchise or transition designations and the player then automatically becomes an unrestricted free agent either immediately or when his contract expires.
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