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Steelers Give Contract Tenders To Gay, Spaeth, Dixon & Hills

In addition to putting a first round tender on tackle Willie Colon March 1st, the Steelers have also tendered restricted free agents tackle Tony Hills and quarterback Dennis Dixon. Also tendered were unrestricted free agents cornerback William Gay and tight end Matt Spaeth. It is currently unknown what level these players have been tendered at, but they were likely the low level tenders that would require teams to give up a draft pick for the round the player was original drafted in as compensation if the Steelers failed to match any contract offers made by other teams. Both Gay & Spaeth fall into the gray area of being players with 4th years accrued that are scheduled to be unrestricted free agents. Dixon and Hills both are both scheduled to be restricted free agents with only 3 years accrued. So the Gay and Spaeth tenders are much like the Colon tender and might end up being fruitless when the labor issues are resolved. It is unlikely that Colon, Gay and Spaeth end up being restricted free agents unless the NFL extends the deadline again and uses the free agency rules that were put in place prior to the 2010 season. Last year Colon lost out on being an unrestricted free agent even though he had 4 accrued seasons.

POS PLAYER DRAFTED STATUS SEASONS
T Willie Colon 2006 Round 4 UFA 5
CB William Gay 2007 Round 5 UFA 4
TE Matt Spaeth 2007 Round 3 UFA 4
P Daniel Sepulveda 2007 Round 4 UFA 4
QB Dennis Dixon 2008 Round 5 RFA 3
T Tony Hills 2008 Round 4 RFA 3

Below I have listed the PROJECTED tender amounts for 3, 4 and 5 year players if they use the 2010 rules of free agency in regards to restricted and unrestricted free agents. Remember these tender amount numbers are ESTIMATED, but should be in close proximity.

Player with FIVE Accrued Seasons
Tender amount Compensation required
$3,552,000* First- and third-round draft picks
$2,773,000* First-round draft pick
$1,960,000* Second-round draft pick
$1,325,000 Determined by RFA\’s original draft status
$1,325,000 Undrafted Right of First Refusal
*or 110% of player’s 2010 salary, whichever is greater
Player with FOUR Accrued Seasons
Tender amount Compensation required
$3,442,000* First- and third-round draft picks
$2,736,000* First-round draft pick
$1,910,000* Second-round draft pick
$1,275,000 Determined by RFA\’s original draft status
$1,275,000 Undrafted Right of First Refusal
*or 110% of player’s 2010 salary, whichever is greater
Player with THREE Accrued Seasons
Tender amount Compensation required
$3,317,000* First- and third-round draft picks
$2,611,000* First-round draft pick
$1,835,000* Second-round draft pick
$1,200,000 Determined by RFA\’s original draft status
$1,200,000 Undrafted Right of First Refusal
*or 110% of player’s 2010 salary, whichever is greater
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