«

»

Mar 09

Chargers Place Lowest Possible Tender on RFA Danario Alexander

Word leaked earlier today that the San Diego Chargers placed the lowest possible Restricted Free Agent tender on wide receiver Danario Alexander. This means that if the Chargers refuse to match an offer sheet Alexander signs with another team, they will receive no draft pick compensation. The Chargers have only the right of first refusal based on the tender given to Alexander.

After signing on with the Chargers last October, Alexander was a pleasant surprise for the team as he gained 658 yards on 37 catches with seven touchdowns, in only seven games. As Rotoworld.com notes, this amounts to 66 catches for for 1,170 yards and 13 touchdowns if projected over a full season.

The other day I put a post up detailing how Restricted Free Agency works in the NFL, which can be found here. For those who just want a quick look at what each RFA tender gets for an NFL club, here’s a sample from the article:

1) If the prior club simply wants the right of first refusal to any offer sheet the RFA may sign with another club, the prior club must simply make the RFA a Qualifying Offer for one-year with a Paragraph 5 Salary (the player’s base salary) of $1.323 million.

2) If the prior club wants both the right of first refusal AND draft pick compensation in the round the RFA was originally drafted in, the prior club must make the RFA a Qualifying offer for one-year with a Paragraph 5 salary of $1.323 million OR 110% of the player’s prior year Paragraph 5 Salary, whichever is greater. Basically, if last year the player’s base salary was even a penny more than $623,00, then the prior club is forced to opt for the second option and pay the RFA 110% of his previous season’s base salary.

3) If the prior club wants both the right of first refusal AND draft pick compensation in the 2nd round of the upcoming draft, the prior club must make the RFA a Qualifying offer for one-year with a Paragraph 5 salary of $2.023 million OR 110% of the player’s prior year Paragraph 5 Salary, whichever is greater. For this option, the team will have to pay 110% of the RFA’s prior season base salary if that player’s previous season base salary was more than about $963,333.

4) Finally, If the prior club wants both the right of first refusal AND draft pick compensation in the 1st round of the upcoming draft, the prior club must make the RFA a Qualifying offer for one-year with a Paragraph 5 salary of $2.879 million OR 110% of the player’s prior year Paragraph 5 Salary, whichever is greater. For this option, the team will have to pay 110% of the RFA’s prior season base salary if that player’s previous season base salary was more than about $1,370,952.

As referenced, the Chargers tendered Alexander at the lowest possible level, meaning he has a one-year deal for $1.323 million. With a $540,000 base salary in 2012, his salary would have been $1.323 million at the original draft pick tender (except this doesn’t apply in his case because he wasn’t drafted, otherwise his tender obviously would be at this level), $2.023 million at the 2nd round tender and $2.879 million at the 1st round tender. 110% of Alexander’s 2012 base salary is only $594,000, so the greater amounts at each tender level are those preset by the NFL.

This was probably the right move for the Chargers. Alexander has an extensive injury history and it is extremely unlikely that any team would have been willing to fork over a 1st or 2nd round pick to sign him away at this point in his career, despite his stellar 2012 production. Signing Alexander at the lowest tender saves the Chargers $700,000 on the cap when compared to the second round tender and $1.556 million when compared to the first round tender. Plus, the team does have a right of first refusal to any offer sheet Alexander may sign with another team. However, if Alexander does sign an offer sheet that the Chargers decide not to match, they’ll be kicking themselves as that means there’s a chance they would have lost out on a 2nd round pick just to save $700,000 on their 2013 cap. With $11,716,511 in cap space right now, Chargers fans would surely like to join in kicking the San Diego front office if this potential star were to sign elsewhere. Of course, if Alexander did receive a draft pick tender, he probably wouldn’t receive an offer sheet from anyone (especially for a 1st rounder). It’s still a fun scenario to consider anyway.

@AndrewOTC