There's a good chance, however, that many of these tenders won't be valid once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. It's part of the strange NFL offseason of uncertainty, with the labor deal set to expire and possible lockout to start as soon as Friday.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined to reveal the type of tenders each player received. Williams' agent, Jimmy Sexton, said his client received the highest tender, which would require teams to surrender first- and third-round draft picks to sign him.
Not only are the salary figures of the tenders uncertain, there's a good chance that players such as Williams, Marshall and Anderson, each with five years of NFL service, will become unrestricted free agents once there's a new labor agreement anyway.
The only reason the Panthers could place tenders on many of these players was the decision by the owners to end the previous CBA after last season. That triggered the elimination of the salary cap in 2010, but it also meant players didn't become unrestricted free agents until they had six years of service instead of four.
When a player is a restricted free agent under the old labor agreement, his current team can match any offer to keep him or receive set compensation in return.
The Panthers didn't extend tenders to safety Gerald Alexander, linebacker Abdul Hodge, center Chris Morris, offensive tackle Rob Petitti and linebacker Jamar Williams. They'll be unrestricted free agents regardless of the results of the labor negotiations.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press