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Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Reviewing restricted free agency

By Paul Kuharsky

Posted by's Paul Kuharsky

Thursday is the deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to their restricted free agents whose contracts are expiring and to whom they desire to retain a right of first refusal/compensation.

Translation of the league's language: It's time to attach a one-year tender offer to RFAs (players who are heading into their fourth seasons without a contract). It's a one-year contract offer that comes with draft-pick compensation attached. If a team signs a RFA to an offer sheet, the original club has a week to match. If it chooses not to, then it gets the compensation instead.

NFC West expert Mike Sando pulled this information together that spells out teams' options with RFAs:

Tender Right to match Compensation if declined to match
$1.01M Yes Same round as when player originally drafted
$1.545M Yes 2009 second-round draft pick
$2.198M Yes 2009 first-round pick
$2.792M Yes 2009 first- and third-round picks

Here are the AFC South restricted free agents:

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans