Steelers plan to offer QB Dwayne Haskins a restricted free agent tender

The Pittsburgh Steelers have many questions regarding their roster for the 2022 NFL season. With Ben Roethlisberger set to retire, the Steelers have a big question at quarterback for next year. With Mason Rudolph the only quarterback under contract for 2022, the Steelers also have Dwayne Haskins as a restricted free agent (RFA). According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Steelers indicated to Haskins that they were going to offer a restricted free agent bid in the original round.

At first glance, it might seem like the Steelers were putting out a first-round bid on Haskins, as he’s a former first-round pick. That’s not the case, as an initial tender would cost the Steelers around $5.5 million. Instead, in a move that would save around $3 million in salary, the Steelers are offering an original tender of around $2.5 million, as ESPN’s Dan Graziano explains.

To explain what a Restricted Free Agent is and how the contracts work, here’s the following according to from the 2021 offseason: (Figures quoted are from 2021, as 2022 amounts are currently only estimates until the exact salary cap number has been set.)

Restricted Free Agent (RFA): A player with three accumulated seasons and an expired contract. RFAs are free to negotiate and sign with any team, but their home team can offer them one of several qualifying offers (“tenders”) that come with a right to first refusal and/or a repechage indemnity. If the offer is withdrawn by a team, the RFA becomes an unrestricted free agent. In 2021, teams must submit these offers by 4 p.m. ET on March 17. These amounts change every year; the following figures are for the 2021 season. Players can choose either (a) or (b), whichever is greater in the applicable bids below.

RFA tenders are classified as follows:

First round call for tenders: One-year contract with the greater of (a) $4.766 million or (b) 110% of the player’s base salary from the previous year. If the player’s original team decides not to match a signed offer sheet with another team, they are entitled to a first-round pick of the player’s new team. Unless received two or more days before NFL Draft, the draft compensation for each offer is due in the same league year that the offer sheet is signed.

An offer sheet signed with a new team includes key terms that must be matched by the previous club. However, if the new team includes terms that waive or limit their ability to designate the RFA as a franchise player, the old team will not have to respect this term if they have offered the player an offer worth 500,000 $ more than the first round tender. ($5.266 million in 2021).

Second round call for tenders: One-year contract with the greater of (a) $3.384 million or (b) 110% of the player’s base salary from the previous year. Draft pick compensation: second-round pick.

Original Tender: One-year contract with the greater of (a) $2.183 million or (b) 110% of the player’s base salary from the previous year. Draft Pick Compensation: A pick in the round in which the player was originally drafted.

Right of first refusal offer: One-year contract worth $2.133 million. The team has the right to match any bid sheet signed with another team, but there is no preliminary compensation related to this tender.

As Graziano explained, with the Steelers offering the first-round pick for Haskins, any team that negotiates a contract with him will have to hand their first-round pick to the Steelers. The pick would come in this year’s NFL Draft, unless the tender was signed within two days of the draft starting, then it would be the following year.

With Price being a first-round pick as well as his salary, I don’t think they’ll be up for any teams lining up for Dwayne Haskins. By placing this tender on Haskins, he will likely be under contract with the Steelers for 2022. Even if another team offers Haskins a contract, the Steelers would have the option of matching the contract or letting Haskins go for the draft. .

The Steelers also have two other restricted free agents for 2022 in linebackers Robert Spillane and Marcus Allen. If the Steelers do not offer an RFA tender, they become an unrestricted free agent.

Once Haskins officially receives his RFA offer, he will have the option of seeking a contract with another team or simply signing with the Steelers for next year.

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