With the NFL imposed deadline for teams to extend an offer sheet to restricted free agents set to pass on Friday, it would appear that tight end Xavier Grimble has now signed the RFA tender the Pittsburgh Steelers presented to him earlier in the offseason.
As per the official NFL transactions report, Grimble signed the one-year contract with the Steelers on Tuesday, a deal that will pay him $2.025 million in 2019. He will become an unrestricted free agent in 2020. Offensive lineman B.J. Finney was the team’s only other RFA this year and has already agreed to his deal, signing his contract on April 2. Finney will earn $3.095 million this year and also become an unrestricted free agent next year.
Given that adding Finney would have cost another NFL team a second-round draft pick if they had signed him away from Pittsburgh, it is hardly surprising to note that he signed his tender relatively early in the process with outside interest effectively limited. Grimble was unlikely to find someone willing to beat the one-year offer the Steelers had committed to with the tender, even if signing him did not require a team to give up draft picks.
Cornerback Mike Hilton remains the team’s only free agent yet to sign his tender, but as an exclusive rights free agent in 2019, he only has the option to play for Pittsburgh or sit out the year altogether. Much like Alejandro Villanueva in 2017, Hilton is hoping to sign a long-term deal with the Steelers this offseason, rather than play on a one-year contract worth $645,000 as per his tender.