...season at least. Givens signed his offer sheet for the 2005 season.
PHOTO: New England Patriots wide receiver David Givens (87) reacts to a second quarter four-yard touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during Super Bowl XXXIX at Alltel Stadium in Jacksonville, Fla., on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2005. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
Patriots Insider: Givens Signs
Restricted Free Agent signs one-year tender offer
By Patriots Insider Staff
Patriots Insider has learned WR David Givens agreed to sign his tender offer, effectively binding him to the team for the 2005 season. His tender is for the mid-level and will likely be renegotiated into a longer term deal. The team has seen fellow WR's David Patten move on to the Washington Redskins, and Troy Brown move on, possibly into retirement. So retaining Givens was considered a priority.
Givens (tendered at $1.43M with First-round pick as compensation) was hoping for the low tender so that he could shop his services or sign a long-term deal with the club. By tendering him at the higher "mid" level, the Patriots effectively scared off potential suitors.
It was speculated that he would be the only one of the Patriots four RFAs who would receive any serious inquiries in free agency with a first-round pick looming as compensation. But even Givens, who led the Patriots with 56 catches last season, would be hard-pressed to receive an offer requiring that type of compensation.
According to NFLPA documents, Givens and fellow Restricted Free Agents (RFA)had until Friday April 15th to sign their tender offers. Javis Green was the Patriots only other unsigned RFA.
Restricted Free Agents are players who have received a "qualifying" offer (a salary level predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players) from his old club. He can negotiate with any club through April 15. Then, because of the qualifying offer, his rights revert exclusively to his old club on April 15. Prior to April 16, if the restricted free agent accepts an offer sheet from a new club, his old club can match the offer and retain him because it has the "right of first refusal." If the old club does not match the offer, it can possibly receive draft-choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer.
By signing the tender, Givens will receive a salary of 1.43 million for 2005 with no signing bonus. Any re-negotiation of Given's contract is expected to include incentive and/or signing bonuses far surpassing the value of his one-year tender.