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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Breaking down restricted free agency

By JEFF DICKERSON

CHICAGO -- Wanted to follow up on an issue we weren't able to address in Tuesday's mailbag: restricted free agency. Teams must submit their tender offers to the league on or before March 4, otherwise the player becomes an unrestricted free agent.

Let's just operate under the assumption 2010 will be played without a salary cap; in that event the Bears' restricted free agents will be:

  • Nick Roach -- 3 accrued NFL seasons

  • Danieal Manning -- 4 accrued NFL seasons

  • Mark Anderson -- 4 accrued NFL seasons

  • Jamar Williams -- 4 accrued NFL seasons

  • Josh Bullocks -- 5 accrued NFL seasons

    *NFLPA records list Dusty Dvoracek as a restricted free agent, but I'm not including him in this discussion.

    In terms of compensation, here is what the tender amounts are for players with three accrued seasons, according to NFLPA documents distributed at the Super Bowl.

    Original draft pick compensation (what round player was selected in): $1,101,000:

    Second-round tender: $1,684,000
    First-round tender: $2,396,000
    First- and third-round tender: $3,043,000

    For example; if the Bears place a second-round tender on Roach, another team would have to give up a 2010 second round pick to sign the linebacker. A first round tender means the Bears would get a first-round pick in return as compensation. A first and third round tender means, you guessed it, the Bears get back a 2010 first- and third-round pick. We should point out that Roach was undrafted out of Northwestern, so the Bears would not receive a draft pick if they stuck him with the low tender amount ($1,101,000).

    Here are the amounts for players with four accrued seasons:

    Original draft pick compensation: $1,176,000
    Second-round tender: $1,759,000
    First-round tender: $2,521,000
    First & third round tender: $3,168,000

    For example; if the Bears placed the original draft pick compensation (low tender) on Manning -- 2006 second-round pick -- a team would have the give up a 2010 second-round pick to sign him. For Anderson, it would be a 2010 fifth round pick. For Williams, it would be a 2010 fourth-round pick.

    Here are the amounts for players with five accrued seasons:

    Original draft pick compensation: $1,226,000
    Second-round tender: $1,849,000
    First-round tender: $2,621,000
    First & third round tender: $3,268,000

    Keep in mind the Bears have seven days to match any offer placed on their restricted free agents. If the Bears choose not to match the offer, they would receive draft pick compensation based on the tender placed on each individual player. Restricted free agents have until April 15 to sign offer sheets from other NFL teams.