The Green Bay Packers solidified their offensive line depth Thursday when restricted free agent Don Barclay signed his one-year, $1.542 million tender for next season.
Barclay, 25, started 21 games (including playoffs) at right tackle during his first two NFL seasons in place of an injured Bryan Bulaga. He was expected to be the Packers' primary reserve at right tackle and both guard spots last season before tearing an anterior cruciate ligament early in training camp.
Barclay's return means the Packers will have their entire starting offensive line and their top two reserves (Barclay and JC Tretter) under contract for 2015.
The deadline for restricted free agents to sign their tenders isn't until April 24, but there was plenty of reason for Barclay and the Packers to get something done.
Eight months removed from the injury, Barclay will need every minute of the offseason program to get back into playing shape. Players report for phase one of the program (strength and conditioning) on April 20.
Meanwhile, the Packers likely wanted to get Barclay off the market after Oakland signed another one of Green Bay's restricted free agents, safety Sean Richardson, to an offer sheet earlier this week. It's the only offer sheet that's been executed with a restricted free agent this offseason.
The Packers have until Monday to decide whether they want to match the Raiders' offer of one year and $2.55 million for Richardson, who also received a right-of-first-refusal tender last month.
The lowest tender means if the previous team doesn't match the new offer, they're entitled to a draft choice of whatever round the player was drafted in. The Packers wouldn't receive anything for Barclay or Richardson because they were undrafted in 2012.
The Packers have 11 offensive linemen under contract for 2015 after releasing Aaron Adams this week. He cleared waivers Thursday.
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