Seven Cardinals players that began the 2020 league year as unrestricted free agents are now considered simply free agents after none received a minimum qualifying tender offer by Monday’s deadline.
The players are tight end Charles Clay, defensive ends Clinton McDonald and Caraun Reid, tackle Jordan Mills, Linebacker Brooks Reed, center A.Q. Shipley and cornerback Brandon Williams.
The Cardinals seven are among 190 players that did not receive tenders, nine of whom have announced their retirement. There were 463 unrestricted free agents when the league year opened for business on March 18.
It is rare for any players to receive a tender, but this year one did: former Cardinals linebacker Markus Golden, who played for the Giants in 2019. Golden remains eligible to sign with another team until July 22. If he is still unsigned on that date, his signing rights will then belong exclusively to the Giants.
If Golden signs with a new team on or before that date, he would be a potential compensatory free agent (CFA) lost by the Giants and a potential CFA gained by the new team provided other requirements are met under the system’s rules.
If a team loses more free agents than it signs in a given year, they are eligible for compensatory picks in the next draft.
Players not tendered that now sign with new teams are not part of the compensatory draft pick system that awards selections in the year after the player signed based on a comparison between the number of players signed and lost along with a formula that also includes playing time and contract value.
Once the date of the tender deadline nears, there are very few signings except for players that re-sign with their team. That changed Tuesday when three teams changed teams following the tender deadline: quarterback Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay UFA) by the New Orleans Saints, defensive lineman John Jenkins (Miami UFA) by the Chicago Bears and defensive tackle Christian Covington (Dallas UFA) by the Denver Broncos.
Tuesday, the league also informed the clubs that prior to the UFA Tender deadline, some had agreed to terms on a contract with a UFA that has not yet been submitted. Those players will remain in the category of Reserve/Unrestricted Free Agent. Once those signings have been submitted, the player will be considered to be a potential Compensatory Free Agent lost by the prior club and a potential CFA gained by the new club if all other requirements are met under the system’s rules.