Free-agent deadlines and what they mean

April, 15, 2010
4/15/10
4:37
PM ET
Here's a schedule of what's going on regarding unrestricted and restricted free agents and what it means for the Cowboys

Today is the deadline for restricted free agents to receive offer sheets. Miles Austin, Gerald Sensabaugh, Sam Hurd and Duke Preston are the only restricted free agents who have yet to sign. Austin said he expects to sign by the June 15 deadline. Sensabaugh isn't working out at Valley Ranch and might not return until the mandatory workouts start in May.

April 21 is the deadline for an old club to exercise right of first refusal to restricted free agents. This doesn't apply to the Cowboys, or to almost any team in the league. None of the Cowboys' restricted free agents have received an offer from another club. Sensabaugh's agent, Kevin Conner, said some teams were interested but nothing serious evolved.

June 1 is the deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned unrestricted free agents to receive exclusive negotiating rights for rest of season if a player is not signed by another club by July 22. No worries here for the Cowboys.

Also, June 1 is the deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned restricted free agents or to extend a qualifying offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights. The Cowboys have sent tenders to all of their restricted free agents and signed their exclusive rights free agents.

June 15 is the deadline for old clubs to withdraw an original qualifying offer to unsigned restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting tender of 110 percent of the previous year's salary. This means all restricted free agents have until this day to sign their deals or get 110 percent of the previous year's salary.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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