The Green Bay Packers actually have some tough decisions to make with their restricted free agents in 2021.
Among the team’s RFAs this year include tight end Robert Tonyan, cornerback Chandon Sullivan, quarterback Tim Boyle, and safety Raven Greene.
Over The Cap projects that the right of first refusal tender will come in at $2.13 million this offseason, the second-round tender at $3.38 million, and the first-round tender at $4.77 million.
What does that mean?
Well, if the Packers go for the cheapest option, they’d pay that cap hit unless another team comes in and agrees a long-term deal (or offer sheet) with the player. In that scenario, Green Bay would have the choice to either match the terms or lose the player to the other team with no compensation.
That’s why the first- and second-round tenders are more expensive. The Packers would pay the numbers above, again, unless another team agrees a deal with the player. In that scenario, Green Bay could either match the contract or lose the player. But in this scenario, they’d receive a draft pick in compensation equal to the tender they chose.
Full list of Packers 2021 restricted free agents
- Tim Boyle, QB
- Raven Greene, S
- Tyler Lancaster, DT
- Parry Nickerson, CB
- Will Redmond, S
- Chandon Sullivan, CB
- Robert Tonyan, TE
The toughest decision here is for Tonyan.
One option would be to just offer him a long-term extension. That takes out the prospect of losing him to another team.
If they decide to use one of the three tenders, another team could come in and offer Tonyan a long-term deal. If he signs the offer sheet, the Packers would have to match it to keep him. But what if a team with more cap space than Green Bay front-loads the deal, making it difficult to match?
In the case of Tonyan, it might make sense to use one of the more expensive tenders. Then, in the unlikely scenario the Packers can’t match an offer sheet signed by another team, they’d receive compensation.
Should the Packers bring back Sullivan, who had a solid year as the slot cornerback but struggled in the NFC title game? What about Greene, who is talented but has missed 20 games over the past two seasons?
Then there is Boyle, the backup QB in 2020. Do the Packers bring him back to play the same role again with Jordan Love remaining the third-string? With Love being a first-rounder plus Aaron Rodgers’ huge cap hit, it would become a bit pricey to bring back Boyle on a restricted free agent tender.
The Packers can match any offers that come in for RFAs so they maintain some control, but these decisions are far from easy.