Broncos CB De’Vante Bausby confirmed the team wouldn’t be tendering him as a restricted free agent but that the two sides were in discussions to return at a lower rate: “We were looking for the tender, didn’t get it, but it’s ok. I’m ready to be a Bronco, though. I’m blessed to even have an opportunity…..ready to be a Bronco, the conversations my agent and the Broncos are having are pretty good so hopefully pretty soon here we can get things done.” (SB Nation)
Ekeler could have negotiated with other teams, and if he received an offer sheet, the Chargers would have been able to match it. If they chose not to match it, they would have received a draft pick from Ekeler’s new team, equal to the tender they chose.
Popper expects RB Melvin Gordon to test free agency and will likely offer him a deal worth the amount he is looking for. Popper does not expect the Chargers to match or exceed any offer on Gordon, even though they will likely have the cap space to do so.
The extension given to Ekeler and Los Angeles’ ability to find younger, cheaper options who could either be drafted or go undrafted are among two reasons that Gordon will not return, according to Popper.
Popper also notes that GM Tom Telesco has a proven ability to find diamonds in the rough at the running back position, including as Ekeler and Justin Jackson.