Type to search

Packers May Not Tender All of Their Restricted Free Agents

Sam Shields

It’s beginning to look like the Green Bay Packers will not tender contracts to all of their restricted free agents — something that was a mere formality in past seasons.

If that is indeed what they do, those players will become unrestricted free agents and can sign with any team. By tendering the contracts, the Packers can match any deal offered by another club.

This is where it gets somewhat confusing. There are three levels of contract tenders — low, medium and high. They each carry compensation with them. If another team signs away a low-tendered player, the team that incurs the loss gets a draft pick in the same round that player was chosen in as compensation. Medium supplies a second-round pick and the high tender carries a first-round pick as compensation.

There are also dollar amounts associated with each tender, meaning the team has to pay the restricted free agent X dollars on a one-year deal. For the low tender that is $1.323 million. Medium is $2.023 million and high is $2.879 million.

Essentially, the thought is the Packers won’t tender all of these guys because it will save them money. Instead of paying $1.3 million, they will probably be able to get away with paying the veteran minimum of $715,000.

The Packers restricted free agents are Sam Shields, Evan Dietrich-Smith, Robert Francois, Frank Zombo and Tom Crabtree.

Shields and Dietrich-Smith will get tendered. The other three guys may not.

As a starting cornerback (and probably the best cornerback on the team), Shields seems likely to get the first-round tender. Since Dietrich-Smith is already penciled in to start at center, the Packers will also need to tender him. There’s not going to be anyone pounding on the door to sign him, so the second-round tender will be sufficient.

The other three guys are the question marks. Crabtree is the most valuable among them and could conceivably get an offer from another team. However, there isn’t going to be a huge demand, so the Packers can probably gamble. That just doesn’t seem like something they would do, though. We’re going to say Crabtee gets the low tender.

That will leave Francois and Zombo without offers, which shouldn’t really matter. Francois, a core special teams player, has already said he plans on returning, so there shouldn’t be any problem signing him to the veteran’s minimum.

As for Zombo, there isn’t really any reason for the Packers to re-sign him at all. He’s hardly played since his rookie season because of injuries.

If all of this plays out like we suspect, the salary cap ramifications will be as follows.

Shields — $2.879 million
Dietrich-Smith — $2.023 million
Crabtree — $1.323 million
Francois — $715,000
Zombo — $0

Total — $6.94 million

Monty McMahon

Monty McMahon is one of the founders of Total Packers. He is probably the most famous graduate of UW-Oshkosh next to Jim Gantner.



  1. Iltarion March 3, 2013

    Good article. Important point missed is that these tenders are to be offered between March 9 -11. So, next weekend.

    Crabtree should get the right of refusal tender. He is worth $1.3 million.

  2. KB March 3, 2013

    I personally don’t think there will be much of a market for Crabtree. I mean he is an inline blocking TE that isn’t even the best blocker on the team. Quarless is MUCH better and actually last year Williams graded out WAY better according to PFF also. Let him test the market and bring him back for the Min.

    Shields obviously should get a first rd tender and considering EDS is penciled in as the starter he will get the 2nd. The rest… nothing.

    1. Iltarion March 3, 2013

      Are you nuts – you obviously have no clue what you are talking about, KB. Tom Crabtree will EASILY get $1.3 million dollars and there will be big market for a guy like him. I guess we will see March 9-11 which is also “come out of the closet” weekend here in Miami.

  3. Richard March 4, 2013

    You guys are idiots. Crabtree deserves the franchise tag, nothing less…