When the Green Bay Packers were handing out what’s largely expected to be meaningless tenders to guys who have little-to-no chance of being restricted free agents when a new labor deal is reached, they also snubbed a few guys.
Receiver James Jones, running back Brandon Jackson and safety Atari Bigby, all of whom would have been restricted free agents under the current collective bargaining agreement rules, were non-tendered. Once free agency begins, they’ll be unrestricted free agents regardless of how many years of service they have.
Although we know Bigby won’t return, it’s at least a little surprising the Packers didn’t tender Jackson or Jones.
Jones has four years of service and is likely to receive an offer to become a starter elsewhere, which we fully expect him to take. However, since he only just completed his fourth season, there’s a good chance Jones would have been a restricted free agent under the rules of the new collective bargaining agreement. If the Packers had tendered Jones, they would have received draft picks as compensation when he signs elsewhere.
Jackson is also a four-year player. The Packers have expressed some interest in retaining him, but Ryan Grant and James Starks are clearly ahead of him on the depth chart.