The Chiefs will open the seventh of 14 scheduled OTA sessions on Tuesday morning at the Chiefs Training Facility. That’s half of the spring slate, minus mini-camp weekend (five practices), in the books following the noon hour. Unless something new happens between now and then, it’s likely that S
Page is one of 37 restricted free agents yet to sign their tender offer, the NFL announced on Monday afternoon. He joins names like Baltimore T Jared Gaither, Denver OLB Elvis Dumervil, Dallas WR Miles Austin, Miami RB Ronnie Brown and New Orleans RB Pierre Thomas as players yet to ink their deals. Like many unsigned RFAs around the league, Page has stayed away from OTAs this spring.
Nineteen of the NFL’s 32 clubs currently roster unsigned RFAs and for each player the situation is different. Sometimes a player, such as Austin, will skip OTAs in order to create leverage for a new deal. Other times, an unsigned RFA will ink a different type of contract, one in the form of an injury waiver. Dumervil chose that choice, opting to participate in Denver’s OTAs with a guaranteed payday should he become injured while working out as he seeks a new deal.
In Page’s case, a landscape of competition is going on without him in the Chiefs secondary. At the same time, Page represents the most experienced starter (39 career starts) among all the Chiefs safeties.
Business surrounding Page, the lone Chiefs RFA without a contract, has been incredibly quiet. As he nearly always does, head coach Todd Haley has taken a stance of commenting only on players who are participating in practice sessions. Chiefs GM Scott Pioli, Page and Page’s agent have all been mum on the status of Page’s as well.
However, today we will learn a little more about where Page and the Chiefs stand for 2010…or will we?
June 1st is a key date in the NFL’s labor world. Today is the day that tender offers extended to RFAs expire. Following expiration, club’s now have the option to extend the tender offer and retain exclusive negotiating rights until Week 11 of the regular season. If re-issuing tender, teams are required to either extend the previous offer to their RFA or offer a contract at 110% of the previous year's pay (whichever is greater). It a team opts not to re-issue a tender, the player then becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Most of the time, teams choose to re-issue tenders.
In Page’s case, the 110% rule is important because his reported 2010 tender offer exceeds 110% of what he earned in 2009. Page’s situation is not one similar to St. Louis S O.J. Atogwe who presents an interesting tender situation for the Rams.
For Page, and most of the other unsigned RFAs, June 15th is the next date to focus on.
On June 15th the Chiefs would have the option to withdraw the original offer to Page and replace it with a 110% offer (in Page’s situation, this would represent a reduced amount), yet still maintain exclusive negotiating rights. If the player then does not sign by Week 10, he cannot play in 2010.
Page was also a RFA in 2009. He signed last year’s tender offer on May 29th.