On June 1st, Chiefs S
Page had until 11:59 PM (EST) last night to sign Kansas City’s extended offer before a new set of circumstances came into play. As of early this morning, neither Page’s party, nor the Chiefs have confirmed a signing. The NFL office remains quiet about a transaction as well.
From a fan standpoint, there seems to be some confusion as to exactly what today means for Page and the next step that awaits both him and the organization. Hopefully this post will clarify things a bit.
The most common misconception seems to be that Page would become an unrestricted free agent if he remained unsigned after midnight. That’s not the case. In fact, the Chiefs are the only party that can release Page to the open market.
Let’s review how Page and the Chiefs got to this point, and take a look at the ramifications that June 15th brings to the table…
As most know, 2010 represents an uncapped season due it being the final year of the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). An uncapped year brings new restrictions with it. One of those restrictions involves unrestricted free agency. Normally, four years of service qualifies a player on an expiring contract for unrestricted free agency. In an uncapped year, the minimum service required bumps up to six years.
Page’s contract expired this off-season, but he only has four years of service to his credit. Normally, Page would have been free to shop with all 32 teams; not this year. Under the new restrictions in place for 2010, Kansas City was able to retain Page as a restricted free agent.
With restricted free agents come tender offers. Page was extended a one-year tender by the Chiefs worth $1.759 million shortly before the start of free agency, but with that he was also free to negotiate with other clubs until April 15th. If another team wanted to sign Page, the Chiefs would receive a second-round pick from that club to compensate for the loss of their tendered RFA.
No other teams ended up presenting Page with an offer sheet, so he remained property of the Chiefs.
On June 1st, Page remained unsigned and the Chiefs had three options to choose from:
1) Extend the previous offer
2) Let the previous offer expire, making Page an unrestricted free agent
Kansas City chose option number one and that’s where the situation stood as of 11:59 PM (EST) last night.
Following midnight, the Chiefs have the ability to reduce Page’s offer to 110% of his 2009 salary if he remained unsigned. The cost of not signing and allowing the Chiefs to enact upon this option would amount to a loss of roughly $60,000 for Page.
That’s where the situation currently stands, unless the team confirms a signing occurred before Monday night’s deadline. Again, Page will not become a free agent solely from the clock striking midnight; the Chiefs would have to make that happen, not a deadline.
Unless the two sides decide to part ways, Kansas City retains the rights to negotiate with Page up until the Tuesday following Week 10 of the regular season. If Page remains unsigned after that point, he becomes ineligible to play in 2010.
To date, Page has refrained from participating in all off-season activities conducted in Kansas City. We’ll keep you up to date if a change in Page’s status can be confirmed.