The Washington Redskins have reportedly tendered restricted free agent kicker Kai Forbath, and will not sign him to a long-term deal this year. There were conflicting reports on if the team had discussed a new deal with Forbath. Mike Jones of the Washington Post first reported that Forbath would be tendered, and said the team had talked about a new deal. ESPN's John Keim then confirmed that the team would tender Forbath, but said there had been no discussions about a new deal. Despite the conflicting reports, one thing is clear, the Redskins are not comfortable committing to Forbath at this point in his career.
Last year, the Redskins used a 7th Round pick on a kicker, Zach Hocker, to compete with Forbath. The Redskins had a new Head Coach in Jay Gruden, and a new Special Teams Coordinator in Ben Kotwica, and neither of them had any history with Forbath who was coming off of an injury-filled year. He was able to win the kicking competition and entered the year as the starter. Forbath has been the most accurate placekicker in Redskins team history, but his kickoffs have been an issue that he was working to improve. Forbath had a nagging groin injury in 2013 that some people attributed to his attempts to improve his kickoff distance. Last season Forbath was 24 for 27(88.9%) on field goals, and the league average was 84%. But on kickoffs, he only got a touchback 33% of the time, and still ranks in the bottom third of the league. Punter Tress Way had 18 kickoffs this year with 9 touchbacks for a 50% TB rate. The Redskins special teams unit continues to struggle with field position, and Forbath contributes to the problem.
The exact tender the Redskins used on Forbath hasn't been reported yet, but here is a breakdown of the different types a restricted free agent can have placed on them. (h/t Phinsider)
There are four different qualifying offers teams can make, according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, though most teams only use the top three tenders:
Right of First Refusal Only: One-year Player Contract with Paragraph 5 salary of at least $1.323 million. No compensation is applied to the original team if another team signs this player to an offer sheet.
Right of First Refusal and Draft Selection at Player's Original Draft Round: One-year Player Contract with a Paragraph 5 Salary of at least $1.431 million for right of first refusal and original draft round compensation. (If the restricted free agent entered the league in the fifth round of the NFL draft, the original team receives a fifth round pick in the next NFL draft from the new team.)
Right of First Refusal, One Second Round Draft Selection: One-year Player Contract with a Paragraph 5 Salary of at least $2.187 million for right of first refusal and second draft round compensation. No matter how the restricted free agent entered the NFL, the original team receives a second-round pick from the new team if said new team signs the player to an offer sheet that the original team isn't willing to match.
Right of First Refusal, One First Round Draft Selection: One-year Player Contract with a Paragraph 5 Salary of at least $3.113 million for right of first refusal and first draft round compensation. No matter how the restricted free agent entered the NFL, the original team receives a first-round pick from the new team if said new team signs the player to an offer sheet that the original team isn't willing to match.
The Redskins most likely used on of the lowest tenders, which would give Forbath a 1 year deal worth around $1.3-1.4 million.
No progress on a longterm deal w RFA kicked Kai Forbath despite talks, so Redskins will probably just tender him, source says.— Mike Jones (@MikeJonesWaPo) March 6, 2015
The #Redskins did tender K Kai Forbath, per source. As @MikeJonesWaPo noted earlier, no discussions of multi-year deal.— John Keim (@john_keim) March 6, 2015
[UPDATE: 1:45 pm 3/8/15] Forbath received the right of first refusal/original round RFA tender
#Redskins K Kai Forbath received the $1,542,000 right of first refusal/original round RFA tender, per @Jason_OTC. #RedskinsTalk— Tarik El-Bashir (@TarikCSN) March 8, 2015