The Bengals today extended tender offers to five players whose contracts from last season are set to expire on Wednesday, when NFL free agency begins.
G/C Trey Hopkins, a fourth-year player in 2019, was issued a tender that, barring a new agreement with Cincinnati, will make him a restricted free agent (RFA) when free agency opens on Wednesday. The Bengals issued Hopkins a second-round tender. CB Tony McRae, G Alex Redmond, DT Josh Tupou and S Brandon Wilson — all third-year players in '19 — have been issued tenders which assure the Bengals will retain their exclusive NFL rights for the upcoming season.
An RFA has the right to negotiate with other teams, and an RFA's 2018 club has the right to retain him by matching any offer he signs from another team. But because Cincinnati extended a second-round tender to Hopkins, if he signs an offer from another team and the Bengals choose to not match that offer, the other team must compensate the Bengals with their 2019 second-round draft selection. The deadline for an RFA to sign an offer from another team is April 19. If Hopkins has not signed an offer from another team by that date, his 2019 NFL rights revert exclusively to the Bengals.
Hopkins also can remain with the Bengals by signing the one-year tender offer, or by negotiating a longer-term contract. Exclusive-rights players McRae, Redmond, Tupou and Wilson also each have the option of signing the Bengals' tender offer or negotiating a longer-term contract with the team.