With the CBA about to expire, unless the negotiation deadline is extended again, and free agency possibly about to happen, the deadline for tendering restricted free agents is upon every NFL team. The Patriots made moves Thursday to retain a couple of their restricted free agents by tendering them offers at the second-round draft pick level. That means if another team signs one of these players to a contract and the Patriots do not match it, the Pats will receive a second round pick in compensation. The Pats tendered RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis and S Jarrad Page, reportedly at the second-round level.
The Patriots can still negotiate new long-term deals with both players, but this gives them at least another year to hang onto both players. Green-Ellis rushed for 1,000 yards in 2010 despite not starting at the beginning of the season and sharing a good chunk of snaps with Danny Woodhead. The Law Firm helped to give the Pats a threat from the backfield and was effective on the goal line, scoring 13 touchdowns. He also was a reliable back, not putting the ball on the ground once all season. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry for the season.
Jarrad Page was limited in 2010 by a calf injury after being acquired from Kansas City in a trade at the cut-down deadline. He played in 10 games, starting 1. His playtime came mostly in sub packages and on special teams. Should he return to the team in 2011, he will be joining a pretty deep safety group in Patrick Chung, Brandon Meriweather, James Sanders, Josh Barrett, and Sergio Brown. Page’s probable return to the team likely means Brandon McGowan won’t be returning. McGowan will be an unrestricted free agent and missed all of last season due to injury.
In other free agent tendering news, the Patriots tendered CB Kyle Arrington an exclusive rights tender. Arrington started 14 games last season after replacing Darius Butler and will likely receive a contract extension before the 2011 season kicks off (if it does at all).