It was six years ago that the Minnesota Vikings—perhaps astutely or perhaps foolishly—formulated a controversial plan in order to acquire all-pro guard Steve Hutchinson, who the Seattle Seahawks had tendered with a transition tag. The method the Vikings concocted in 2006 is now known simply as a “poison pill.”
Essentially, the “poison pill” is a component in a contract offer which features stipulations that make it arduous or impossible for the team in possession of a tendered players' rights to match an offer on that player.
ICONThe elimination of the “poison pill” should make it a tad bit easier for the Steelers to bring back Mike Wallace.
For example, Minnesota's offer sheet to Seattle regarding Hutchinson included a clause stipulating that Hutchinson's entire contract would become fully guaranteed if at any point during the life of the contract he was not the highest-paid offensive lineman on the team. This is noteworthy because, at that point, Seahawks left tackle Walter Jones was making more money per season than what the Vikings had included in their offer, meaning Hutchinson's entire seven-year $49 million contract would have been fully guaranteed.
As you can see, it’s a tricky situation that can understandably be viewed as unfair.
However, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports Tuesday that the ability for teams to utilize the “poison pill” function when piecing together an offer sheet to a tendered player has been removed from the CBA, citing a source with “intimate” knowledge of the new CBA.
Although we already know teams universally do not condone the inclusion of the poison pill—considering it has not truly been used since the same offseason it was created—fans and league pundits are likely to be relieved that the possibility of it resurfacing is no longer evident.
As it relates to this offseason, teams that opt to tender a restricted free agent under the new CBA can only set a maximum offer of a first-round tender to players; a small price to pay for available RFA's like Houston running back Arian Foster or Pittsburgh wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Luckily enough, neither organization will face the added handicap that a poison pill would almost surely result in.
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