Henry Hynoski and Jim Cordle won’t be making $1.323 million in 2014. At least not from the Giants.
The fullback and center, respectively, both ended the season on injured reserve and go into this offseason as restricted free agents. They will not receive tender offers from the Giants as the deadline for making such offers looms. Teams must decide by March 11 – the start of full-blown free agency – if they will tender their restricted free agents and the Giants have already told Hynoski and Cordle that they will not be doing so, according to sources. The lowest tender an NFL team can put on an RFA is a right of first refusal, and that comes with the price tag of a $1.323 million salary for 2014.
Hynoski and Cordle may wind up back with the Giants, but not until they become unrestricted free agents. And if they do return, it will be for less than the $1.323 million.
The news on Hynoski was first reported by ProFootballTalk.com. The Star-Ledger first reported the Cordle decision.
The Hynoski move makes sense as the Giants already have FB John Conner under contract for 2014. They might invite Hynoski to camp to compete against Conner if he does not sign elsewhere. Cordle, meanwhile, was a backup center who stepped in as a starter. The Giants are looking to upgrade their offensive line from starters to reserves. But like Hynoski, they could bring Cordle back for less than the tender offer if he does not sign elsewhere.
That leaves two other UFAs for the Giants to deal with: linebackers Mark Herzlich and Spencer Paysinger. Paysinger’s agent told Newsday that he had yet to hear from the Giants either way; again, the deadline to make a decision is March 11.
Just to go over the rules of restricted free agents, in case you forgot from last year when Stevie Brown, Andre Brown and Victor Cruz all went through the process, teams can designate RFAs in any of four ways with various salaries:
The first is a right of first refusal, which means the player can receive offers from other clubs and the original team has a chance to match or beat the offer. If the player signs elsewhere, the original team receives no compensation. If he stays with the original club, his one-year salary is $1.323 million.
The second option is to tender the player at his original draft level. In the case of all of the Giants’ RFAs, they were all undrafted, so that’s not really an option. But just to complete the explanatory circle, the salary for such a designation would be $1.431 million. If the player signs with another team, the original team gets a draft pick in the round that the player was originally taken.
Option three: A second-round tender. If a team signs an RFA it must give the original team a second-round pick. The salary for this level is $2.187 million.
And finally, the first-round tender. This is what the Giants put on Cruz last year. No RFA has found another team willing to give up a first-round pick to sign him in more than a decade. A first-round tender comes with a one-year salary of $3.113 million.
Of course, there is a fifth option. The non-tender. And that seems to be the Giants’ most popular one so far this offseason.