Gbaja-Biamila, Diggs get tender offers

Taking a calculated risk in an effort to stay under the salary cap, the Green Bay Packers reportedly have offered lower than expected tenders to defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila and linebacker Na'il Diggs. Both players will become restricted free agents on Friday.<p>

Gbaja-Biamila has been offered a first-round tender by the Packers, according to his agent Bruce Tollner. Gbaja-Biamila will count about $1.3 million against the salary cap instead of about $1.8 million, which is the salary for the highest tender.

The Packers had to offer Gbaja-Biamila more than the minimum tender because he was taken in the fifth round of the 2000 draft. If he was a minimum tender, the Packers would only receive a fifth round draft pick if they decided not to match an offer from another team. By offering Gbaja-Biamila a first-round tender, the Packers will receive a first round pick if another team signs the defensive end.

Green Bay is hoping that most teams in need of a pass rusher will seek one through the draft instead of taking time to negotiate with Gbaja-Biamila. No first-round tender has ever signed an offer sheet from an opposing team since the start of free agency. But Gbaja-Biamila has 25 1/2 sacks in the last two seasons, which certainly makes him attractive.

Many football experts felt Gbaja-Biamila might receive the highest tender, which includes a salary of about $1.8 million and first- and third- round draft choices as compensation if signed by another team. But the Packers are reportedly doing everything possible to get under the $75.3 million cap by Friday and re-sign some of their top players who are scheduled to become free agents, like Cletidus Hunt and Tyrone Williams.

Diggs, selected in the fourth round by the Packers in 2000, was offered the minimum tender of about $615,000 rather than a first-round tender. Diggs has started since his rookie season at strongside linebacker. Because of the low compensation, there is a chance other teams will pursue Diggs.

"He's a talented player with not a lot of cost in compensation," Diggs' agent Mitch Frankel told the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

The Packers have until Thursday to present tenders to their other three restricted free agents: safety Matt Bowen, wide receiver Karsten Bailey, and punter Josh Bidwell.


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