Why RFA means “not really a free agent”, and more…


One thing I keep hearing about this off-season is why the Rams (or any team for that matter) has yet to pursue Mike Wallace. He’s a free agent, right? Not really…at all. Wallace is a restricted free agent which means there is a tender of compensation placed on him which a team has to match in order to sign him away from the team with his respective rights. The team that maintains his rights also has first right of refusal to match and counter any offer given to their player.

In this case, the tender is a first round draft pick. So an interested team would have to give up a first round draft pick just to sign him to a big contract. This is where I think most people stop thinking about how this works. Its not the draft pick that keeps every team from exploring RFA’s it’s the fact that if they go through the entire negotiating process to sign a player with the caveat that the current team has the right to step in and refuse it- then offer the player the contract you just negotiated.

So essentially it’s not the draft pick compensation that has kept all teams (certainly not just the Rams) from exploring any players with the RFA restriction. They will basically just be signing the player for the other team, and it’s a waste of resources and reflects poorly on the organization. Honestly, how would the Rams look if they tried to sign one of the Bill’s guards to big contract only to have Buffalo exercise their right of refusal and sign the player to the same contract. This is why no team is interested in an RFA and why an RFA is not really a free agent at all.

On a side note, Ryan Tannenhill  probably wasn’t a top 10 player in the Big 12 last year, yet he might go in the top 10 of the draft. No matter how much film I watch on this guy it’s obvious he’s just a developmental second round talent. I hope the team that takes him knows that, unless it’s the Seahawks.  I don’t know what people see in this fella. I want to be on record to say this, he will never start more than 10 NFL games.

Finally in closing, the draft is fast approaching. I think the #6 spot guarantees the Rams an elite “Blue” player. It could be Kalil, Claiborne, Richardson, or Blackmon. I don’t see them moving from the spot, I think they knew this all before they traded back to #6, and I suspect they would be happy with any of them, as would I. Claiborne would be me least favorite of the group and Blackmon would be my favorite (no reason to change now, he’s going to be elite in this league, you’ll see).

Thanks for reading,