The Green Bay Packers are not offering tenders to restricted free agents Tom Crabtree and Robert Francois, according to Tom Silverstein of Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and Rob Demovsky of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
#Packers TE Tom Crabtree won't get tendered and is headed for free agency. Expect there to be interest from other teams fairly soon.
— tom silverstein (@TomSilverstein) March 12, 2013
The agent for LB Robert Francois said the #Packers aren't going to tender him. But they're still trying to work out a deal.
— Rob Demovsky (@RobDemovsky) March 12, 2013
Without tenders, both players will become unrestricted free agents, free to sign with which ever team they please without compensation to the Packers.
However, it's very plausible to think Green Bay is actively trying to sign Crabtree and Francois—both of whom have expressed interest in returning—to deals that fall under the $1.323 million price tag associated with the lowest, original-round tender.
Re-signing both to contracts closer to the league minimum would save the Packers a small chunk of cap space, but there's always the risk that either player will find a better deal on the open market.
Crabtree, 27, caught eight passes for 203 yards and three touchdowns in 2012. Francois, also 27, made 13 tackles, all on special teams.
Frank Zombo, another of the Packers' restricted free agents, is not expected to receive a tender.
Zach Kruse is a 24-year-old sports writer who contributes to Cheesehead TV, Bleacher Report and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He also covers prep sports for the Dunn Co. News. You can reach him on Twitter @zachkruse2 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.