Restricted Free Agent Tenders: 3/3/16

Over the next several days, there will be a ton of news on NFL teams assigning contract tenders to their restricted free agents and exclusive-rights free agents. Until a player signs his tender, he technically remains a free agent, but the offer ensures that he won’t be able to hit the open market.

For restricted free agents, teams can offer a first-round tender, a second-round tender, an original-round/right-of-first-refusal tender. The majority of RFAs will get that last tender, which allows the player to test the market and potentially sign an offer sheet, while giving his current team the opportunity to match that offer. A higher tender would ensure the player’s team compensation in the form of an early-round draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

Here are today’s updates on RFA tenders:

  • The Giants have assigned a low-end RFA tender worth $1.671MM to tight end Larry Donnell, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. Donnell’s 2015 campaign came to a premature end when he suffered a neck injury, but it’s not expected to jeopardize his career. As Pelissero adds (via Twitter), Tamika Cheatham, Donnell’s agent, says his client is doing well in rehab and can’t wait to play.
  • After tendering safety Tony Jefferson at the low-end level on Wednesday, the Cardinals have assigned the same tender to wide receiver Jaron Brown and safety D.J. Swearinger, per Pelissero (via Twitter). Brown and Swearinger will have the opportunity to explore the market next week, though I don’t expect the duo to draw as much interest as Jefferson will.
  • The Colts have extended a qualifying offer to tight end Jack Doyle, the team announced today in a press release. With Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen both eligible for free agency, it looks like the team wants to make sure it retains Doyle, a solid depth piece. He also got the low-end tender, tweets Adam Schefter of
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