The Giants Tuesday handed out restricted free agent tenders to running back Ahmad Bradshaw, defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka, defensive tackle Barry Cofield, tight end Kevin Boss, wide receiver Steve Smith, and defensive end Dave Tollfeson.
Confused? Thought they were all unrestricted free agents, considering none have fewer than the four years of experience needed to test the open market? Well, that would have been true before this season. But with the absence of a salary cap in 2010, the requirement for unrestricted free agency went up to six years, so all those guys reverted back to restricted status.
Here's another point. Those tenders -- essentially one-year deals with bonuses of any kind -- may not even matter once the players and owners come to a new collective bargaining agreement. No one knows what the new rules will be surrouding free agency. And with both sides headed for a probable work shutdown after their final, mediated bargaining session tomorrow, it could be months before any of that is resolved. By then, the whole issue of restricted tenders -- indeed, the entire concept of restricted free agency -- could be a moot point.
Still, the Giants went through the motions, as did every other team in the league. The Giants have 14 restricted players, so more will likely be tendered in the coming days.
The Daily News reported that Bradshaw -- a signing priority from the get-go -- was offered only a second-round tender. It was believed at first that he'd get the highest tender possible, requiring first and third-round draft compensation if signed by another team. This tender would entitle him to $1.3 million for 2011.
Kiwanuka and Smith, originally first and second-round picks, were believed to have been offered lower tenders requiring compensation at their draft positions.
Don't expect any of these guys to jump at signing them. The clock runs out on the current CBA at midnight Friday. Everything might be moot by 12:01.