When the Cleveland Browns slapped the second-round tender on FS Tashaun Gipson (instead of the first-round tender) before the start of free agency, there was a bit of outrage from fans. "How could the Browns risk letting him get away for just a million dollars in savings?" was a common thought.
Almost two weeks into free agency, though, we've heard virtually nothing when it comes to another team being interested in putting together an offer sheet for Gipson. That doesn't mean something won't develop over the next couple of weeks -- even though it was a different circumstance, last year, when the transition tag was slapped on C Alex Mack, the Jacksonville Jaguars' heavy interest in him was first noted on April 9th. Mack signed their offer on April 11th, and Cleveland matched the offer in a couple of hours.
The belief is that the Browns would very much like to keep Gipson in Cleveland long-term, and that they would easily match any offer that another team made. This isn't a situation like TE Charles Clay had with Miami and Buffalo, where Buffalo structured the deal to work against Miami's cap space. The Browns don't have any cap issues right now, so it's not as enticing for another team to waste time trying to structure a deal that Cleveland will inevitably match.
There is one way that this could come back to bite the Browns: a team could, hypothetically, offer Gipson a 2-year deal worth $18 million, but an opt-out clause after year one, just like with Mack. It would prevent Cleveland from using a transition or franchise tag on Gipson in 2016 if he really wanted to leave. It doesn't sound like it does, though, which is a good thing.
The big date to remember when it comes to Gipson is 11:59:59 PM ET on April 24th. That is the final time that Gipson can sign an offer sheet with another team. Once that deadline hits, we'll know for certain where Gipson will be in 2015. We could see the Browns try to work out an extension with Gipson after the draft, which would keep his salary low this year, with the higher dollar amounts against the cap coming in later years. Either way, we'll be on the lookout for Gipson news.