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BBAO: On Evan Dietrich-Smith's low tender

3/12/2013

We're Black and Blue All Over:

Good morning and Happy Free Agency! The market officially opens at 4 p.m. ET, and while we spent most of Monday breaking down the Percy Harvin trade, I started working back toward the rest of the division late in the evening with a look at the relatively big names being connected with the presumably cap-strapped Detroit Lions.

One other noteworthy bit of news arose Monday night: The Green Bay Packers' decision to offer a low contract tender to center Evan Dietrich-Smith, a restricted free agent and their presumed starter in 2013. As Tom Silverstein of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes, the offer -- worth $1.323 million -- could entice a team to sign Dietrich-Smith to an offer sheet. That team would not have to provide the Packers any draft-pick compensation.

(On the other hand, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reports, the Packers gave cornerback Sam Shields a second-round tender worth $2.02 million. That means any team that might sign Shields would have to give the Packers a second-round pick in order to get him.)

The Packers would still have the right to match an offer to Dietrich-Smith, which they assuredly would. But they would have in essence allowed another team to negotiate a deal for one of their starters. Overall, though, the risk is minimal. How likely is it that another team would make a significant financial play for a player with two career starts at the position, especially given the recent history of inactivity for restricted free agents?

We'll find out soon enough. For now, a quick morning spin around the division:

  • Pete Dougherty of the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "So general manager Ted Thompson in effect is betting that no team will offer Dietrich-Smith a contract he’d be unwilling to match."

  • Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press on the Harvin trade: "It's just too bad that the most talented player at the Vikings' weakest position had to be such a screwball. But it's still going to hurt. Even if the Vikings now sign or draft a star playmaker, they merely will break even -- with luck. Harvin does so many things well that he is close to being irreplaceable."

  • It was always something with Harvin, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.

  • Harvin's departure is a failure of the Vikings' organization, writes Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune.

  • Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: Harvin "was, and is, one of the NFL's most dynamic players for 3 hours after Sunday. It's the other 165 hours a week the Vikings had begun to fear having a basket case on their hands."

  • Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press on the Lions' possible pursuit of running back Reggie Bush: "There are many reasons the Lions should do whatever necessary to acquire Bush once the formal free-agent season begins at 4 p.m. today. But there's also one overriding reason they should run -- not walk -- away from him. They're ... the Lions. These high-profile splurges don't work for them. And anytime anyone tells you that the Lions 'can't miss' with a prescribed remedy, they usually whiff badly. This remains an organization that if awarded with a fail-proof path toward gold would mine only clay."

  • Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com explores the Lions' interest in safety Glover Quin.

  • Patience will be key for the Lions, notes Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

  • The Chicago Bears have $7.01 million in cap space, according to Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Chances of the Bears' own free agents leaving are increasing, writes Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune.

  • Brian Urlacher's situation merits creativity from the Bears, according to ESPNChicago.com.