A pair of potential restricted free agents have received one-year contract tenders at the second-round level, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the Seahawks have tendered wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, while the Bengals have tendered linebacker Emmanuel Lamur.
When a player is eligible for free agency, his team can choose to submit one of three contract tenders to him — the higher the offer, the higher the compensation for his club if he ends up signings elsewhere. In the cases of Kearse and Lamur, their respective teams offered them one-year deals worth $2.356MM, ensuring that if either player signs an offer sheet with another team and that sheet goes unmatched, the Seahawks or Bengals would receive a second-round pick as compensation.
Neither Kearse nor Lamur has signed their one-year tender yet, and I’d imagine the agents for both players will at least poke around on the open market next week to see if a rival suitor is willing to make a long-term offer. It’s possible though that both players will simply end up signing the one-year offer from their current clubs — they’ll have until April 24 to find offer sheets elsewhere.
Kearse, 25, caught just 38 balls for 537 yards and a touchdown for the Seahawks during the regular season last year, but hauled in a pair of TDs in the postseason. Most notably, after Russell Wilson‘s threw four interceptions trying to get him the ball in the NFC Championship game, Kearse hauled in his first reception of the day in overtime, in the end zone, to send Seattle to the Super Bowl.
As for Lamur, in over 900 defensive snaps for the Bengals, he graded as a below-average in pass coverage, run defense, and as a pass rusher, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), which ranked him 39th out of 40 qualified 4-3 outside linebackers. However, the team clearly viewed the 25-year-old’s performance more favorably, with his 97 tackles and two interceptions earning him a one-year offer that will almost certainly keep him in Cincinnati.
The Bengals may have been wary about assigning the low-end tender to Lamur after doing so with Andrew Hawkins a year ago and eventually losing him to the Bengals. That tender would only have been worth about $1.54MM, but it would have allowed other teams to sign Lamur to an offer sheet without risking any draft picks.