Pittsburgh Steelers punter Jeremy Kapinos announced on Twitter Wednesday that he had received his one-year exclusive rights tender offer from the team and now we know that the Steelers other two exclusive rights free agents, running back Isaac Redman and nose tackle Steve McLendon, have also received their one-year tenders as well. The news comes via Scott Brown of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and those tenders were expected.
An exclusive rights free agents is defined in the CBA as any player with fewer than three Accrued Seasons as of the end of the 2011 League Year. If an exclusive rights free agent is tendered a contract, he must sign it if he wants to play in the upcoming season, as he is not free to negotiate with another team. The one-year tenders to both Redman and McLendon were for $540,000 and both will be restricted free agents following the 2012 season, assuming they qualify for their 2012 accrued season, which they both surely will.
Both Redman and McLendon were signed originally by the Steelers as undrafted free agents in 2009 and both spent good amounts of time on the Steelers practice squad. Redman is a product of Bowie State while McLendon played his college ball at Troy.
Although they play on different sides of the ball, their careers have taken similar paths. Redman became the primary backup last season to starter Rashard Mendenhall and will likely start the 2012 season as the Steelers starting running back as Mendenhall looks destined to start the season on the PUP list as he recovers from a torn ACL. McLendon also found himself as the number one nose tackle in the AFC Wild Card game after veteran starter Casey Hampton left the game early with a knee injury. With Hampton still recovering from surgery, McLendon has a good shot at opening up as the starter when the Steelers start training camp.