The 11 p.m. (Central) deadline has come and gone, and there are no signs that any of the Packers’ unsigned restricted free agents — Tramon Williams, Johnny Jolly or Atari Bigby — signed their tenders.
Barring an 11th-hour deal, that means the Packers have the right to offer them a new tender worth 110 percent of each player’s 2009 base salary. In the case of Williams and Jolly, that would mean significant paycuts — and potentially upset players.
Williams, who was given the lucrative first- and third-round tender after successfully filling in for Al Harris last year, was set to earn $3.043 million under the tender. Instead, Williams could see that figure dip to $577,500 (110 percent of his 2009 base salary of $525,000, according to NFLPA salary data).
Jolly received the first-round tender worth $2.521 million. He could see that figure dip to $588,500 (110 percent of his 2009 base salary of $535,000).
It’s not clear whether the Packers decided to exercise the 110 percent option with either of those players. Neither agent (Rod Williams for Williams and Brian Overstreet for Jolly) immediately responded to e-mails at the deadline.
Bigby’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was told by the Packers that the team would exercise the 110 percent rule, according to Pro Football Talk. In that case, though, the monetary difference is minimal. Bigby played under the second-round tender last year and was given the second-round tender again. The 2010 tender figure is $1.759 million; 110 percent of last year’s $1.545 million is $1.6995 million.
Williams obviously has the most leverage, considering the Packers’ questionable defensive backfield. There’s probably no push with either the team or Jolly to get something worked out, considering his legal issues. Bigby feels like he’s got leverage, too, considering the team has no proven depth at safety — the addition of promising rookie Morgan Burnett notwithstanding.
If the Packers did not offer the 110 percent tenders, the original tenders remain in play and the team continues to hold exclusive negotiating rights. The period for restricted free agents to sign an offer sheet with another club expired on April 15.
According to NFL Labor, there were 15 unsigned restricted free agents as of Monday afternoon.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport and Facebook under Bill Huber.