Falcons make a decision on Schaub

property of Atlanta Falcons.com Steve Wyche of the AJC writes that the Falcons plan to tender quarterback Matt Schaub at the highest level allowed for a restricted free agent. That level is $2.35 million.

By tendering him at that level, any team that signs Schaub will have to compensate the Falcons with a first and third round draft pick in this upcoming year’s draft. Teams will be allowed to submit offer sheets to Schaub, and if he accepts, the Falcons will then have seven days to either match the deal or let Schaub walk. If the latter course of action is chosen, then the Falcons will be compensated with the two draft picks.

In the new Collective Bargaining Agreement signed last March, the NFL decided to expand restricted free agency by adding a fourth option. In the past, teams had three levels of tenders. With the highest tender, teams received compensation in the form of first and third round picks. The second highest tender, a team would receive just a first round pick. The lowest level, teams would be compensated based upon the original round in which a player was drafted. And in the case of undrafted players, would receive no compensation. Now the league has added a fourth level, which will allow teams to be compensated with a second round pick. It will be the third highest level.

The Falcons have other restricted free agents to tender, most notably linebacker Demorrio Williams. Most sources believe he will be tendered at a level in which the Falcons receive at least a second round pick in terms of compensation.

Other players scheduled to be restricted free agents are guard P.J. Alexander, tight end Dwayne Blakley, and offensive linemen Ben Claxton. All three could receive the minimal tenders. Claxton was a fifth round pick of the Denver Broncos in 2002, meaning the Falcons would be compensated if he were to sign elsewhere this off-season. Both Alexander and Blakley however were undrafted free agents, so if tendered at the lowest level, the Falcons would not be compensated by their losses.

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Aaron Freeman
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