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Raiders make surprising decision on Nicholas Morrow

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Linebacker gets second-round RFA tender

Los Angeles Chargers v Oakland Raiders
Nichols Morrow
Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Prior to free agency, I wrote that linebacker Nicholas Morrow was the only restricted free agent that the Raiders might give the high restricted free-agent tender to, but it was no sure thing.

It was originally reported that the Raiders gave an original-round tender to Morrow. But on Wednesday, Adam Caplan reported the Raiders gave him the second-round tender.

That will increase his salary, and it will very likely keep teams from pursuing him in restricted free agency. As a rule, teams can sign free gets to an offer sheet — the player’s team has five days to match or let the player go. If that happens in Morrow’s case, the Raiders will receive a second-round pick.

I highly doubt that happens. Morrow has been a nice success story as an undrafted player from Division III school Greenville. But he is probably not a true NFL starter even though he was in that role with the Raiders last year. The Raiders added starting linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkowski in free agency. They will likely try to add another starter in free agency or at the top of the draft.

Ideally, the Raiders will use Morrow as a top-end backup and special teamer. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021. By giving him the second-round tender, it’s clear the Raiders do value Morrow, so maybe they will try to extend his contract before free agency next year.