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Detroit Lions give TJ Jones restricted free agent tender

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It turns out the Lions did offer Jones an RFA tender after all.

NFL: Detroit Lions at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Despite initial reports that the Detroit Lions were not tendering any of their restricted free agents prior to the start of the league year on Wednesday, the NFL’s official transaction report says something quite different.

According to the report, the Lions have given receiver TJ Jones an original-round tender. That means the Lions have essentially offered Jones a one-year deal worth $1.9 million. Other teams can still match or supercede that offer, as long as Jones doesn’t sign it. However, if the Lions end up losing him to another team, the Lions would be compensated with a draft pick from Jones’ original draft round, which would equate to a sixth round pick.

The Lions did not offer a restricted free agent tender to anyone else, including Zach Zenner, Brandon Copeland and Zac Kerin. All three are now unrestricted free agents.

Additionally, the Lions offered ERFA tenders to Jake Rudock and Christian Ringo. Those two can now either sign those minimum contracts or sit out the 2019 season. They cannot negotiate with any other teams (hence the “exclusive right” in exclusive rights free agent).