The NFL’s free-agency negotiating period is beginning. And one of the Seahawks’ starters who could be on the market is reportedly learning his chances of staying in Seattle are good.
Sheil Kapadia of espn.com reported Monday the Seahawks are indeed doing what coach Pete Carroll told us last week at the combine the team would do...
...and Kapadia cites a league source saying the tender will be for the lowest of the team’s options to retain him, as expected and is logical.
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Per the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with its players, a team has three options in deciding to tender a restricted free agent. The lowest level tender Kapadia is reporting Gilliam will receive is an offer of $1,797,000 million (the league set the exact amounts for tender offers on Monday). That would provide the Seahawks the right of first refusal for five days after any offer Gilliam would sign an offer signed from another team. That would happen after the league’s market opens Thursday.
Seattle other notable restricted free agent is DeShawn Shead, the team’s starting cornerback who is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
A second-round tender would be a 2017 contract for $2,746,000 and the Seahawks would get the compensation of a second-round pick should another team sign the restricted free agent. Shead may get that--or may also get the lower tender with Gilliam. That’s because of Shead’s ACL tear and long recovery that general manager John Schneider said last week will likely last deep into the ‘17 season driving down his marketability to other teams.
A first-round tender would be a contract for this year of $3.91 million, with a team getting a first-round choice as compensation should another team sign such a tendered restricted free agent.
Shead is in a tricky situation: a starter coming off a major injury coinciding with becoming a restricted free agent. I asked Schneider last week at the combine about Shead’s peculiar spot, and the GM didn’t want to talk about it. But to be sure the Seahawks want Shead back. Carroll has said multiple times how Shead is a consummate Seahawk and a great example of the team’s program of always competing, resigning from an undrafted rookie special-teams helper to starter by doing everything coaches have asked of the former decathlete from Portland State.
The Seahawks weren’t going to risk having to pay Gilliam, their starting right tackle the last two seasons, $2.7 million for 2017 by giving him the second-round tender. And no other team was likely to try to sign Gilliam with the possibility of having to send Seattle a second-round pick -- not for a former undrafted college tight end at Penn State whom the Seahawks benched over three games in December because line coach Tom Cable said he wasn’t being physical enough.
Carroll said Thursday at the combine the Seahawks were going to participate actively and aggressively in free agency beginning later this week, particularly in looking to upgrade their offensive line that was the weakest part of the team in 2016.
General manager John Schneider said Wednesday in Indianapolis: "I think we’d like to add some experience at that position.”
If not, they’ve put themselves in position to retain Gilliam--or choose to let him go if another team should unexpectedly offer him big bucks.
Tuesday at 9 a.m. Pacific Time until free agence begins at 4 p.m. Thursday, teams can negotiate with the agent of players will be become free agents Thursday. A few ago the league created what’s become known as this “legal tampering period” to corral what was widely known to be tampering of free-agents-to-be by teams before the market officially opened. This two-day negotiating window is a can’t-beat-them-join-them solution to level the negotiating field for all teams.