The New England Patriots were already rumored to have made a decision on one of their restricted free agents, Adam Butler. And now, it seems the team has decided to tender another of their RFAs.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Patriots will be placing an original-round tender on offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor.
The #Patriots are giving OL Jermaine Eluemunor the original round draft RFA tender, source said. That’s a fifth rounder tender from NE, who traded for him last year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2020
The Patriots acquired Eluemunor, a former fifth-round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2017, via trade ahead of last season. The Ravens shipped the now-25-year-old and a 2020 sixth-round pick to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick in 2020.
Eluemunor dressed for 10 of the Patriots' games in 2019 and played a total of 29 offensive snaps, per Pro Football Focus. But evidently, he showed enough for the Patriots to feel comfortable tendering him a contract for next season.
By tendering Eluemunor, the Patriots have guaranteed that even if another team signs him in free agency, they will receive compensation. In Eluemunor's case, because he was a fifth-round pick and the team tendered him at an original-round level, they'd receive a fifth-round pick if another team elected to sign him and the Patriots declined to match the offer.
That said, it's not likely any team would shell out big bucks for Eluemunor considering his lack of playing time last season. And if no team attempts to sign him, the Patriots can either negotiate an extension with Eluemunor or, more likely, he will sign his restricted free agent tender which, per OverTheCap.com, would be worth about $2.1 million.
Having continuity on the offensive line is certainly important and perhaps the Patriots like a skill Eluemunor possesses. It will be interesting to see how the 6-foot-4, 335-pound lineman progresses during the 2020 offseason if he does, in fact, return to the Patriots.