NFL Free Agency: Seahawks give S Ryan Neal right of first refusal tender
The Seattle Seahawks have been unusually active in free agency thus far. Not only have they successfully re-signed quarterback Geno Smith, they also made quite a splash signing of former Broncos defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones. However, the Seahawks are not quite finished.
On Tuesday morning, ESPN’s Seattle insider Brady Henderson reported the Seahawks placed right of first refusal tender on safety Ryan Neal, who is a restricted free agent.
The Seahawks have given S Ryan Neal the right of first refusal tender as a restricted free agent, I’m told. That’s also listed on OTC, and a source confirms to me it’s correct. This is the low RFA tender that amounts to a one-year deal worth $2.627M.
— Brady Henderson (@BradyHenderson) March 14, 2023
The world of restricted free agency in the NFL is a bit complicated, and not often explored. At least not for the big names we see each year moving teams. What this means is Ryan Neal can negotiate with other teams, but Seattle has the right to match whatever offer he might receive. According to the NFL, if the Seahawks do decline to match an offer Neal receives and he leaves, the organization is not compensated draft picks like it would with other restricted free agency tenders.
Placing Neal on such a low tender is a little surprising given how valuable he was for Seattle’s ailing defense. For the past three years Neal has been a contributing member in the Seahawks secondary, and in 2022 he started ten games. Neal finished last season with 66 total tackles, one sack and one interception.
Seattle is clearly testing to see what Neal’s market actually is. But it is hard to imagine there isn’t a team out there willing to top the Seahawks low offer.
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