I've read in many places fans complaining that the Chargers are the only team that can't sign their RFA's, or that other teams are able to offer long term contracts, the Chargers should be able to as well.
This post will show you the way around the RFA dilemma here in San Diego. First, I will show you that the Chargers aren't the only ones with some of their RFA's holding out. Second, I will show you that the signing of the RFA tender offer is no longer in the Chargers court. Third, I will show you after the jump what our RFA's have done wrong in the grand scheme of things if they REALLY want to have a long term deal here in San Diego.
The Chargers aren't the only team without RFA's signed:
- Up until yesterday, Green Bay DB Atari Bigby hadn't signed.
- RB Ronnie Brown has not signed his RFA tender in Miami.
- New England OG Logan Mankins hasn't signed his tender and is threatening to hold out.
- Buccaneers LT Donald Penn has not signed his tender and isn't expected to report to camp.
- Washington CB Carlos Rogers has yet to sign his tender
That makes at least 5, I'm sure there are more, that was just a cursory glance at a Free Agency list. All of the above are also notable players that fill key roles in their teams.
However, you are right in assuming that the majority of teams have their RFA's signed under their tenders...because the players signed their tender. There are two steps to the tender offer:
- The team notifies the league and the player of which type of tender they are placing on the player
- The player can sign that tender
Many other teams offered the tender, and immediately or eventually the player agreed to the tender and signed it. In San Diego, the team offered the tender, the players rejected it. There is no difference (publicly at least) with the way in which the tender was offered in San Diego versus these other organizations whose players signed.
An interesting question would be, how many of the players that signed the RFA tag on other teams were then given a new contract? Well, let's go down the scout.com Free Agency ranking list and see the status of the top 20 RFA’s:
- Vincent Jackson: Did not sign RFA tag, has not received a new deal.
- Miles Austin: Signed RFA tag with the Cowboys, has not signed a new deal.
- Brandon Marshall: Signed RFA tag with the Broncos, which enabled him to be traded to Miami, where he got a big deal.
- Owen Daniels: Signed RFA tag with Houston, has not received a new deal.
- Elvis Dumervil: Signed RFA tag with Broncos, received a contract extension.
- Demeco Ryans: Signed RFA tag with Houston, received a contract extension.
- Pierre Thomas: Signed RFA tag with New Orleans, has not received a new deal.
- Jammal Brown: Signed RFA tag with New Orleans, was then traded to Washington, no new deal.
- Willie Colon: Signed RFA tag with Pittsburgh, will be sitting out all season with an Achilles injury.
- Jahri Evans: Signed RFA tag with New Orleans, then signed a new deal.
- Logan Mankins: Did not sign RFA tag, has not received new deal.
- Antoine Bethea: Signed RFA tag with Indy, then got a new deal.
- Barrett Ruud: Signed RFA tag with Tampa Bay, has not received a new deal.
- LeRon McClain: Signed RFA tag with Baltimore, has not received a new deal.
- Braylon Edwards: Signed RFA tag with New York, has not received a new deal.
- Shawne Merriman: Did not sign RFA tag, has not received a new deal.
- Leon Washington: Signed RFA tag with New York, was traded to Seattle and has not received a new deal.
- Malcom Floyd: Signed RFA tag with San Diego, has not received a new deal.
- Harvey Dahl: Signed RFA tag with Atlanta, has not received a new deal.
- Deuce Lutui: Signed RFA tag with Arizona, has not received a new deal.
That’s just the first page, and you can see where the trend goes the lower you get on that list. 5 of those 20 RFA’s received a new deal, 15 did not. 3 of those 20 did not sign their tender (4 if you include MM), and none of those received a new deal.
I will say that again, 0% of those RFA’s that refused their tender received new deals.
Only 25% of those that signed their RFA tender actually received new deals, and I’m fairly certain that number would drop if I kept going down the list. Based off of these numbers, I feel that I can safely say that not only are the Chargers in the majority within the league with regards to dealing with RFA’s, but very few teams are signing their RFA’s to new deals.
I can already hear the argument: “but VJ and MM deserve to get paid more than the tender offer.”
Well, I’ll counter with these statements:
- A Pro-Bowl WR with better stats than Jackson last season (81 rec, / 1,320 yds / 11 TDs) seemed to think the RFA tender was pretty fair. He is named Miles Austin.
- None of the OT’s on the RFA list above have received new deals, yet they seemed to think the tender was fair enough.
- One wide receiver, one Safety, one Offensive Guard, and two Linebackers received new deals: not many glamour positions.
So looking back at these facts, which argument below do they tend to support?
- The Chargers are the only team unable to sign RFA’s
- The Chargers are in line with the way that the majority of the teams are handling RFA’s
The fault of the Chargers RFA’s being unsigned lies on the shoulders of those that normally have pads on them: the players. The majority of the league isn’t having the same issues as the Chargers because their players accepted the offers. Why are the Chargers players acting different than other players throughout the league? I can’t answer that one, maybe they are getting back advice from their agent or maybe they aren’t happy with AJ Smith. I can tell you there are several other names on the list above that aren’t happy with their contractual situation, but guess what? They realized that they didn’t have the leverage and that they would never recoup the money if they refused the tender offer.