The 2018 NFL draft is less than a week away, and in addition to a full week of insufferable hype, that also means that Friday is the last day that restricted free agents are able to sign contracts with a new team. After Friday, restricted free agents who have yet to sign the restricted free agent tender with their 2017 team are no longer eligible to sign an offer sheet with a new team.
For the Seattle Seahawks this does not mean anything for the restricted free agents the team tendered because both Dion Jordan and Justin Coleman have signed their tenders. However, if the Hawks are planning on signing any of the few RFAs who may still be looking for a new team, Friday is the last day to do so.
The majority of the names left available in the RFA market do not jump off the page as readily recognizable, and most of those that are recognizable have tenders high enough that the Seahawks would not be able to sign the player to an offer sheet even if they wanted, simply because of the fact that the Hawks do not have a second round pick. In any case, the RFAs left available are
- Ricardo Allen (FS, 2nd)
- Shaquil Barrett (LB, 2nd)
- Matt Paradis (C, 2nd)
- Rakeem Nunez-Roches (DE, 6th)
- Tyrell Williams (WR, 2nd)
- Willie Snead (WR, New Orleans Saints retain right of first refusal)
- Anthony Chickillo (LB, 6th)
And that’s it. By this point of free agency the majority of RFAs have signed the tender with their previous team, but if there is to be any activity on the RFA front, today is the day that it needs to happen.
The reason the deadline for signing RFAs to offer sheets exists this early in the offseason is because of the potential draft pick compensation associated with signing an RFA. When an RFA with associated draft pick compensation changes teams, the draft pick which switches hands is in the present season. So, say for example some team decided to sign Ricardo Allen or Matt Paradis to an offer sheet that the Atlanta Falcons or Denver Broncos decline to match, then the signing team would be sending their 2018 second round pick to the Falcons or Broncos. Thus, the only way for this system to work is for the deadline to be before the draft, which is why the last day for teams to sign RFAs to an offer sheet is today.
I don’t expect any moves today, but this is the NFL and you never know what kind of desperate, shortsighted move a GM might make with a second round pick.