Pats personnel watch: RFA tenders

March, 2, 2011
3/02/11
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There were a number of teams that tendered restricted free agents on Wednesday -- from the Jets, to the Steelers, Cowboys and Lions. The Patriots are expected to join the mix by the end of the week.

This is more procedural than any headline-grabbing type news, but it opens a window to examine some of the team's decision-making as it builds its roster in this uncertain labor environment.

A look at the players who are eligible for tenders:

RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- With three accrued seasons, he would be a restricted free agent under the rules of the salary-capped system (pre-2010) or the uncapped system. After breaking out with a 1,008-yard season in 2010, Green-Ellis can expect to receive a first-round tender at the minimum, which would essentially ensure his return to the team.

S Jarrad Page -- With five accrued seasons, he would be an unrestricted free agent in a salary-capped system (pre-2010). Under last year's uncapped rules, Page would be a restricted free agent. Page earned $1.759 million last season and played 17 percent of the defensive snaps as primarily the team's fourth safety (he also played on special teams). The Patriots traded a 2012 seventh-round choice for Page, so they paid a market price in draft picks/salary and the question is if they felt it was worth the value. It's possible they could tender him at a lowest level, but unlikely they'd go higher.

OL Quinn Ojinnaka -- With five accrued seasons, he would be an unrestricted free agent in a salary-capped system (pre-2010). Under last year's uncapped rules, Ojinnaka would be a restricted free agent. Ojinnaka might have value to the Patriots given reports that Nick Kaczur could be cut and Matt Light entering unrestricted free agency. But if he is tendered, it likely would be at the lowest level.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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