Steve McLendon, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman all receive low-level tenders for $1.3 million in restricted free agency. Dwyer would return a sixth-round pick by a team willing to sign him to an offer the Steelers would want to refuse. Nothing would come for Redman or McLendon.
That question will get even more murkier now. The Steelers elected to give McLendon the right of first refusal level tender offer in restricted free agency, meaning McLendon will be paid $1.3 million guaranteed this season, but a team has an opportunity to sign McLendon to an offer sheet. If the Steelers choose to not match it, McLendon will leave without compensation.
On one hand, it seemingly doesn't matter. Teams rarely make offers for players in restricted free agency anyway, and while McLendon has shown some flashes of potential, particularly in rushing the passer, the fact he averaged around seven snaps a game last season and now this low level tender suggests the team doesn't feel he's worth the extra insurance - the second-round tender is $2 million.
McLendon is, right now, the likely starter at nose tackle this season.
Also receiving the low-level offers are the pair of RFA running backs, Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer was given the original round (sixth) tender and Redman, who was undrafted, received the right of first refusal. Both are paid the same amount - $1.3 million.
Neither seemed able to pull away from the other despite getting roughly the same amount of carries this season. Both had outstanding performances at times, and looked sub-par in others.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders received an original round tender as well, meaning the Steelers would receive a third-round pick if another team was to get him to sign an offer sheet the Steelers didn't wish to match.
It doesn't seem likely any team would be willing to pay that much more to any of these players, but it's always possible.