Buffalo Bills defensive end Eddie Yarbrough played his way onto the roster with a great training camp and preseason in 2017. He stuck in 2018, too, and has developed into a serviceable backup for Sean McDermott’s defense. Yarbrough, a 2016 undrafted free agent signing of the Denver Broncos, has just two accrued seasons in the NFL, making him an exclusive rights free agent.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents are players with one or two accrued seasons on an NFL roster. As the name suggests, they can’t negotiate with other teams. If Buffalo offers a league-minimum contract, Yarbrough’s only choices are to sign the deal or sit out and not play.
With two years of experience, a league-minimum contract would be for $645,000. It’s a one-year deal and gets paid as salary during the 17 weeks of the season. Yarbrough will make some money for his offseason work, but it won’t be much.
It’s unlikely Yarbrough would sign a longer deal. He has no incentive to, really. A year from now, Yarbrough will be a Restricted Free Agent. If he gets an opportunity and plays well in 2019, he could be in line for the second-round tender at more than $3.1 million for one season. Even the original round tender of $2 million+ would give Buffalo the right to match any offer he signed with another team.
It’s widely expected Yarbrough will be tendered at the $645,000 and he will play 2019 under that contract.