The Packers have decided to give tender offers to 9 of their restricted free agents. This list includes safeties Nick Collins and Atari Bigby, cornerbacks Tramon Williams and Will Blackmon, guards Daryn Colledge and Jason Spitz, defensive end Johnny Jolly, fullback John Kuhn and tight end Spencer Havner. Notably absent were punter Jeremy Kapinos and running back DeShawn Wynn.
What does all this mean? Well, each tender is leveled so the team will receive some sort of compensation from any team who signs away one of these players. It also gives the team to match any offer. For example Nick Collins and Tramon Williams received the highest level tender both money-wise and compensation-wise. If any team gives these players a higher offer, they will have to surrender a both a first and third round pick for either Collins or Williams. Johnny Jolly also received a high first round tender. These moves basically assure that these players will be back with the team next year.
Giving Johnny Jolly a high tender worth almost $3 Million dollars for next year seems like a bit of a surprise considering his availability for next year is in question. He has a felony drug charge that has a good chance of netting him a four game (could be more) suspension, with the possibility of jail time. His play on the field last year was undeniably a major factor in why the team would offer him such a high tender.
Daryn Colledge, who is reportedly angry with the Packers, received a second round tender. This is also a high level tender that will most likely keep away offers from other teams. Colledge had made his desire to test free agency known and is not pleased that his options are very much limited now. Jason Spitz and Atari Bigby also got second round tenders, and will most likely be playing in green and gold next season (for at least the preseason).
Bringing back Spitz and Colledge for a another year seems smart for the Packers to keep strong depth on their offensive line. If Chad Clifton does move on, Colledge could be an option to replace him (although his performance at left tackle was laughable last year). Spitz is also very versatile because he can play at three positions.
Will Blackmon received a fourth round tender, so he will brought back for the preseason with a major opportunity to compete for playing time on defense. It is still up in the air whether the team should keep him or not though.
A low level offer was given to John Kuhn. The tender does not include any compensation from other teams, but the Packers have the right to match the offer given if he decides to sign elsewhere. Given the fact that Kuhn played well last season and that Green Bay has 2 other fullbacks on the roster, I would not be surprise at all if Kuhn did sign with another team and the Packers don’t match the contract. Spencer Havner was given an exclusive rights tender so he cannot sign with another team. In Havner’s case, he played well in a small role last year, and has a good chance of being brought back if the team doesn’t draft a tight end.
Not tendering Jeremy Kapinos gives no doubt he will not be playing in Green Bay next year, and leaves the possibility that his playing days in the NFL are over given that fact that performance over the last few years has been consistently bad. Look for the Packers to spend a low draft pick on a punter or pick one up on free agency. DeShawn Wynn will be able to test the market and may get some looks considering he has been reliable as a pass blocker and fill-in running back when healthy.
While it is important in the short-term to bring these players back for another year, look for the the team to try to hammer out long-term contracts with the more vital players on that list (Collins, Jolly, Williams, and Spitz).
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