Today at 4 p.m. isn’t only the start of unrestricted free agency, it is also the deadline for teams to tender their restricted free agents. While it is no surprise the Detroit Lions have tendered Willie Young, doing so at a second round level is a surprise.
Lions have given DE Willie Young a second-round RFA tender, according to sources. Former 7th-round pick will make $2.023 million in 2013.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) March 12, 2013
The Lions could have tendered a $1.323 million contract but that would have tied just a seventh round pick to Young as compensation should he have chosen to sign with another club. It’s obvious the Lions think a market would have developed for Young had they not bumped up their tender.
The higher tender also suggests Young is in store for a bigger role in 2013. With Kyle Vanden Bosch already gone, Cliff Avril unlikely to return and Lawrence Jackson also heading into free agency, the Lions have a lot of work to do at defensive end. Today’s tender of Willie Young helps ensure they don’t have another hole to fill.
Young is still free to talk with other teams until he signs his tender but any team that signs him to an offer sheet would have to send a second round pick to the Lions as compensation. The Lions would also have the right to match the offer to retain Young.