The Cleveland Browns tendered four of their five restricted free agents on Monday, two days before they would have become unrestricted free agents had no action been taken. The players who received tenders include WR Terrelle Pryor, OL Austin Pasztor, OLB Scott Solomon, and S Don Jones. The only RFA not tendered was QB Pat Devlin.
What Are Restricted Free Agents / Tender Amounts?
"Restricted Free Agents" (RFA) applies to players who have at least three years of accrued service in the NFL (i.e. 6 games or more on the roster or IR).
The Browns could choose to place a 1st round tender, 2nd round tender, or original round tender on each player.
The 2016 tenders are $3.635 million for the 1st round tender, $2.553 million for the 2nd round tender, and $1.671 million for original round tenders. Another team can sign a player you place a tender on, but they would owe that team the corresponding draft pick. Players not tendered by the start of free agency revert to unrestricted free agents.
All four players received an original round tender, which means if they make the team in 2016, their base salary will be $1.671 million. As restricted free agents, other teams are free to try to sign the players to offer sheets, but if the Browns don't match the offer, they would receiver compensation in the form of the round the player was originally drafted in. That would be a third-round pick for Pryor, seventh-round picks for Solomon or Jones, and nothing for Pasztor. The chances of another team actually being interested enough to make an offer to any of these four players is slim to none.
Heading in to free agency, my projection was that the Browns wouldn't tender any of the players, and after they became free agents, try to re-sign them for the veteran minimum.
Pasztor would seem to hold the most value to the club right now, as he can be an insurance policy on the offensive line if the team loses C Alex Mack and RT Mitchell Schwartz. The fact that Pryor will have a chance to develop with the team all offseason as a wide receiver is encouraging too.
The team also confirmed that they have tendered two of their exclusive rights free agents, RB Raheem Mostert and DL Jamie Meder.