The re-sign, tag, walk series, a look at the Miami Dolphins pending free agents, continues today with a slight change. The “re-sign” category shifts to “tender” today as we take a look at an exclusive rights free agent. An exclusive rights free agent is a player who has an expiring contract, while having two or fewer years of service in the league. If the team chooses to extend a tender (which has no guaranteed money included in it) to the player, he must accept it or retire. If a tender is not extended, he becomes an unrestricted free agent.
And, really, the franchise tag is never going to be in play for an ERFA.
NFL free agency begins at 4pm ET on March 9. Anyone who is not under contract for the 2017 season will be able to begin signing with new teams - barring any restricted free agent tenders that have been placed on players with less than four years of service time in the league. Over the next few weeks, teams all across the league will be trying to re-sign their own players to new contracts in an effort to prevent players they want to keep from testing the open market.
The Dolphins have 20 players about whom they need to make decisions. We have been asking you as fans of the team to provide your thoughts on what the Dolphins should do for each of their upcoming free agents. We break down the history of the player, what they did for the team in 2016, the terms of their expiring contract, the estimated value for the franchise tag, and then as you to vote on the decision the team should make.
This morning, we resume with a look at linebacker Mike Hull.
Hull signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He bounced between the practice squad and the active roster in his rookie season, appearing in three games in 2015, with one recorded tackle.
In 2016, Hull spent the season on the active roster, appearing in all 16 games for Miami. He made one start at linebacker during the season and recorded 15 tackles and one interception for the year. Where he made his biggest impact was on special teams, where he recorded 19 tackles, tied (with fellow Dolphins player Michael Thomas) for second in the NFL.
Bushrod signed a two-year contract with the Dolphins worth $960,000 in 2015 when he was promoted to the active roster near the end of the season. He accounted for a $525,000 salary cap number in 2016 (via overthecap.com).
The franchise tag is not a reasonable option for an exclusive rights free agent.
The Phinsider thoughts
Exclusive rights tenders are low money with no guarantees involved, so there is no reason to not offer one to a player unless the team feels the player has no potential for the future. In Hull’s case, he absolutely has a role on the team as a special teams player and he provides depth at linebacker as he continues to develop. Miami should absolutely extend a tender to him.
What should the Dolphins do with Hull? Vote below and feel free to discuss in the comments.