Chicago Sun-Times

Restricted free agency ... truly restrictive

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What are the chances the Bears lose Rashied Davis in restricted free agency?

Slim.

The wide receiver was tendered at the low level of $927,000, and the Bears will not receive compensation for him if another club signs him to an offer sheet and they decline to match it. But how much money is going to be thrown at a No. 4/slot receiver with good ability on special teams? If it’s a fair contract there is a good chance the Bears would just match an offer sheet and thank the other team for negotiating the deal for them. That’s what happened with defensive lineman Israel Idonije two years ago when the Buffalo Bills attempted to lure him away as an RFA.

For practical purposes few players change uniforms as RFA’s. The deadline for clubs to sign players from other teams to offer sheets is April 18. The player’s current team has one week to match an offer sheet once it is signed.

The Bears nabbed cornerback Ricky Manning Jr. from the Carolina Panthers this way in 2006. He is one of just 12 RFA’s to switch teams in the last four seasons.

Safety Brandon McGowan will not be going anywhere. The Bears tendered him at the mid-level for $1.417 million. That means they would receive a second-round pick in compensation should another team sign him away. It isn’t going to happen. Both Davis and McGowan could wind up working out extensions with the Bears but given McGowan’s track record of major injuries—he’s torn an ACL and an Achilles tendon—they might want to see him show some durability before making a bigger commitment financially.

Here are some recent statistics regarding free-agent movement courtesy of the league office:

(numbers are the total players in this category that changed teams)

2007

Unrestricted 126
Restricted 4
Transition 0
Franchise 0
Total 130

2006

Unrestricted 149
Restricted 4
Transition 1
Franchise 0
Total 154

2005

Unrestricted 104
Restricted 3
Transition 0
Franchise 0
Total 107

2004

Unrestricted 124
Restricted 1
Transition 1 (John Tait)
Franchise 0
Total 126

2003

Unrestricted 111
Restricted 5
Transition 1
Franchise 0
Total 117

2002

Unrestricted 130
Restricted 1
Transition 0
Franchise 0
Total 131

2001

Unrestricted 93
Restricted 4
Transition 0
Franchise 0
Total 97

2000

Unrestricted 107
Restricted 4
Transition 0
Franchise 0
Total 111

1999

Unrestricted 115
Restricted 2
Transition 1
Franchise 0
Total 118

1998

Unrestricted 110
Restricted 4
Transition 1
Franchise 2
Total 117

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1 Comment

Please, let's not lose Rashied. He has been treated unfairly by Lovie and is a big play maker. Why has he become such a forgotten man? We have to worry about how many opportunities we are going to give opposing cornerbacks to injure our precious Devin?

When the other team avoids kicking to Devin they are really going to pay the price when Rashied catches it because he is almost as good. (Nobody (except tony dorsett) compares to Devin though).

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 2, 2008 12:14 PM.

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