In discussing Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards's decision to sign his restricted free agent tender, I suggested the NFC North's remaining unsigned RFA would follow suit by the NFL's midnight deadline.
Those three players are all in Green Bay: defensive end Johnny Jolly, safety Atari Bigby and cornerback Tramon Williams. If any of them allow the deadline to pass, the Packers will have the right to rescind the tender and assign them a salary of 110 percent of their 2009 base pay.
In this blog post, Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel details why Bigby might not have much financial incentive to act anytime soon. While the salary swap would dramatically reduce compensation for Jolly and Williams, Bigby's pay would drop less than four percent. In that light, you wonder if Bigby would consider refusing the tender and hope it spurs some sort of contract discussion as training camp approaches.
Bigby has skipped the Packers' entire offseason program, and rookie Morgan Burnett has been working at his position with the first team. In the short-term, the Packers are better off with Bigby than without him. But if he continues to play contract hardball, you wonder whether the Packers would be tempted to move on without him this season. As always, stay tuned.