OAKLAND, Calif. —Five tenders. No surprises.
The Raiders had five exclusive-rights free agents who needed to be tendered before the Wednesday start of the 2018 league year, otherwise expose them to free agency. All were tendered, a source said. Kicker Giorgio Tavecchio, safety Erik Harris, defensive end James Cowser, linebacker Shilique Calhoun and guard-tackle Denver Kirkland are expected to sign their one-year deals.
There are three types of free agents.
Exclusive-rights free agents are maybe the least discussed, likely because they are fairly anticlimactic. An exclusive-rights free agent is any player with an expiring contract who has two or fewer seasons of NFL experience. Unlike with a restricted free agent (three years experience), once a team places a one-year tender on a player, no outside team is eligible to sign him.
The contracts are worth the veteran minimum. Tavecchio’s deal, for example, is for $555,000.
The Raiders had 10 unrestricted free agents (four years or more) in 2018. Nose tackle Justin Ellis re-signed with the club before hitting the market. Tight end Lee Smith technically hit the market, but he agreed to re-sign with the Raiders before the deadline.
So far, cornerback TJ Carrie (Cleveland Browns) and defensive tackle Denico Autry (Indianapolis Colts) have moved on elsewhere. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman, quarterback EJ Manuel, safety Reggie Nelson, safety Keith McGill II, long snapper Jon Condo and kicker Sebastian Janikowski are unsigned.