The Steelers tendered starting tackle Willie Colon a one-year contract offer of $2,521,000 Tuesday, the Post-Gazette has learned.
That tender maintains the Steelers' rights to Colon as a restricted free agent. The level of compensation tendered him means that if another team, starting Friday, signs Colon to a contract, the Steelers would receive a first-round 2010 draft choice in return if they decline to match.
NFL teams have five levels of tenders they can choose to offer their free agents for each of three draft class years, from 2005 through '07. The highest tender would bring a team draft picks in the first and third rounds if they decline to match. Colon received the second-highest tender available to his 2006 draft class.
The Steelers also gave punter Daniel Sepulveda a tender that would bring them a fourth-round draft pick if he signs elsewhere and they do not match.
The team did not reveal the tenders they issued their potential restricted free agents or those they might have ignored. One source said Colon was the only player who would receive a high tender and any others they issued were merely to maintain their rights to match another contract they might sign.
Other potential restricted free agents include starting cornerback William Gay, backup tight end Matt Spaeth, fullback Carey Davis and guard Darnell Stapleton.
Ed Bouchette: firstname.lastname@example.org .