The deadline for restricted free agents to sign an offer sheet with another club is April 18, three weeks from today.
The Bears have two RFA’s who have yet to sign their tenders. Safety Brandon McGowan will probably do so soon. He received the mid-level tender for $1.417 million that would require a team to send the Bears a second-round draft pick if it signed McGowan to an offer sheet and the Bears declined to match it. Quite simply, that’s not going to happen. McGowan figures to be in the mix for a starting job after improving at the end of last season. A lot at safety will depend on what happens with Mike Brown, who’s coming off his third serious injury and will be entering the final year of his contract.
There was some buzz wide receiver Rashied Davis, who was tendered at the low level for $927,000, would have some suitors as an RFA. Nothing has happened to this point. Because Davis was not a draft pick, the Bears would receive no compensation if they declined to match an offer sheet signed by Davis. But the chances of a team writing a contract for him high enough to dissuade the Bears from matching it are not good. The Bears want to keep him and would be appreciative if someone else did the hard work for them.
Davis is an underutilized role player as a slot receiver who can be effective on special teams. No team wants to do the dirty work of wooing a player and signing him to an offer sheet only to have his current employer match the deal. That’s one of the reasons you see such little movement when it comes to restricted free agency. Only one player has switched teams as an RFA this offseason. Cornerback Kalvin Pearson, a solid special teams performer, reunited with Detroit coach Rod Marinelli and defensive coordinator Joe Barry in making the move from Tampa Bay March 13. Fourteen RFA’s had re-signed with the team they played with in 2007 through Wednesday and San Francisco tight end Billy Bajema joined that group today.
So, nothing is set yet. Certainly someone could step forward and make a play for Davis. But right now it looks less likely. Stay tuned.
UPDATED: Oakland cornerback Chris Carr has signed an offer sheet with Tennessee. The Raiders will have seven days to match it or another RFA will switch clubs. The Titans are viewing Carr as a returner, essentially a replacement for Pacman Jones.