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Packers don't tender restricted free agents Francois, Zombo, Crabtree

Mar. 12, 2013
 
The Packers have decided not to offer a restricted free agent tender to backup linebacker Robert Francois, shown during the Dec. 30, 2012, game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The Packers have decided not to offer a restricted free agent tender to backup linebacker Robert Francois, shown during the Dec. 30, 2012, game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The Packers have decided not to offer a restricted free agent tender to backup linebacker Robert Francois, but his agent remained hopeful that his client will return to the team.

Noel LaMontagne, who represents the third-year pro, said the team is trying to figure out an alternative deal.

“He wants to be there, and they want him there,” LaMontagne said.

Sources said the Packers can’t afford to tender all five of their restricted free agents, meaning tight end Tom Crabtree and linebacker Frank Zombo also probably won’t be tendered. The Packers put the lowest tender on center Evan Dietrich-Smith ($1.323 million) and the second-round tender on cornerback Sam Shields ($2.023 million).

Restricted free agents who aren’t tendered by 3 p.m. today are free to sign with other teams.

“Hopefully we can get something worked out this afternoon,” LaMontagne said.

Francois was one of the Packers’ top special teams players last season, appearing in all 16 games.

UPDATED (11:55 a.m.): Crabtree, in a message to the Press-Gazette, confirmed he did not receive an RFA tender from the Packers.

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