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Tuesday, March 12, 2013
BBAO: On Evan Dietrich-Smith's low tender

By Kevin Seifert

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: