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Packers' RFA tenders could cost about $5 million

Feb. 18, 2013
 

The Packersí restricted free-agent tenders could take up about a little more than $5 million in salary cap room, based on the best guess of the offers general manager Ted Thompson will make.

NFL teams have until the start of free agency, which is 3 p.m. Monday, March 12, to tender contract the offers. The Packersí five are center Evan Dietrich-Smith, cornerback Sam Shields, tight end Tom Crabtree, inside linebacker Robert Francois and outside linebacker Frank Zombo.

Dietrich-Smith and Shields probably are the only players in the group who will command anything more than the lowest tender. A restricted free agency tender carries the right to match any offer the player signs with another team or receive as compensation a draft pick in the round the player was selected.

Here are this yearís tender amounts:

First-round tender: $2.879 million
Second-round tender: $2.023 million
Original-round tender: $1.323 million

All five players entered the NFL undrafted, so if the Packers tendered them the lowest amount, they would have the right to match but would not receive any compensation if they didnít.

Shields has been a starter for most of the last two years, and Dietrich-Smith was a starter by the end of last season and projects as the likely starter in 2013, so the Packers probably will tender each at least the second-round offer. Combined, thatís at least $4.046 million in cap room. There's always the chance Shields would warrant a first-round tender, which would add about $800,000.

The best guess is that Thompson will tender only one of the other three, Crabtree, and that at the lowest offer. So that would be another $1.323 million, or $5.269 million for all the tenders. If Thompson doesn't tender Francois or Zombo, he still would re-sign them but at the fourth-year minimum salary of $715,000 rather than the $1.323 million tender.

The Packers have about $20 million in cap room without the tenders.

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Get Green Bay Packers updates as they happen from our reporting team: (from left) Mike Vandermause, Wes Hodkiewicz and Pete Dougherty.

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