On Monday, the Indianapolis Colts announced that wide receiver/return specialist Quan Bray and tight end Erik Swoope had both signed their exclusive rights free agent tenders.
Both players signed as unrestricted free agents with the Colts – Swoope in May 2014 and Bray in May 2015.
Swoope is on his way to being a successful project for Vice President of Football Operations Jimmy Raye III and former General Manager Ryan Grigson. Swoope had never played football at any level before being signed by the Colts. He played basketball collegiately at Miami (FL) but did not have much of a prospective future in the NBA. The Colts signed him to develop him into a tight
end, and after two years of progress, Swoope finally saw extensive action in 2016. He has caught 15 passes for 297 yards (19.8 avg) and 1 touchdown. He is expected to be the Colts’ second tight end moving forward. His development is also one big reason that former starter Dwayne Allen was traded this offseason.
Bray came onto the scene late as a rookie in 2015. After earing a practice squad spot to start the year, he became the team’s primary kickoff and punt returner for the final nine games. Since then, he has returned 30 kickoffs for 801 yards (26.7 avg). He has returned 28 punts for 224 yards (8.0 avg). Bray has been seldom used on offense, catching just 3 passes for 36 yards (12.0 avg).
Here, OverTheCap.com does an excellent job of explaining the Exclusive Rights Free Agency designation:
“Players with less than two accrued seasons are the exclusive property of their former team provided the team makes a one year tender offer for the minimum salary. So for a player that was in his first year in 2014 on a $420,000 contract, the team will place a $510,000 tender on the player and own his rights, assuming he earned a credited season (if no credited season was earned the player woud receive a $435,000 tender).
Unlike RFA’s the ERFA is not allowed to negotiate a contract with another team once the tender is applied. Essentially they are locked in for another season with their original team. If no tender is made or the tender is rescinded then the player becomes and unrestricted free agent. If that occurs they do not factor into the compensatory equation. Tenders count on the salary cap as soon as applied, provided they count in the Top 51, which they usually do not.”
Jake Arthur is the AFC South Division Manager, Indianapolis Colts Team Manager, Assistant Director of NFL Content and a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot. He is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurPFS on Twitter as well as on Facebook. Check out his other work HERE.