Roster Update: Exclusive Rights Free Agents
Bent , TheJetsBlog.com
Exclusive rights free agents (ERFAs) are players who are not under contract but only have two years of NFL experience and were on an NFL roster (or reserve list) at the end of their second season. This will either be an undrafted free agent or a draft pick who has been cut at least once. In practice, the team has to tender a one year minimum salary contract before the first day of the league year following the expiration of their contract, which doesn’t always get signed by the player immediately. If the tender is not made, or later withdrawn, the player becomes an unrestricted free agent, but the player cannot sign with another team while the tender is in place.
The Jets had four ERFAs listed for 2013:
Isaiah Trufant – who established himself as a key role player at slot corner last season and made his first career start against the Patriots last season.
Darrin Walls – who was activated off the practice squad in November and saw action on defense over the last few games, again at cornerback.
Dedrick Epps – a backup tight end, who ended the season on injured reserve after hurting his knee against the 49ers.
Jordan White – a seventh round draft pick who saw action at the end of last season, catching one pass.
However, nobody has reported any of them being signed yet. So, what’s going on? Find out after the jump:
We’ve been looking into whether any of these have signed and can confirm (via Jason at OTC/NYJetsCap) that Walls is now listed as under contract for the 2013 season on the NFLPA database. We can also confirm that Trufant and White received an ERFA tender and would expect news of their re-signings to follow in due course. Epps not did not receive a tender offer, so he is now an unrestricted free agent, even though the deals are completely non-guaranteed. For what it’s worth, the Jets official site (and several other sources) list White, Walls and Trufant as on the roster, but not Epps, so this may be a sign that all three are now signed, or they are just making that assumption because it’s regarded as a formality.
Walls and Trufant give the Jets good depth at cornerback, potentially giving them the option to try and convert one of their cornerbacks to safety. White will compete for a roster spot at wide receiver, although he may be a long shot if they re-sign Braylon Edwards and/or draft somebody at the end of the month.