The Titans announced today that they have signed tight end Anthony Firkser to a one year extension, keeping him in the fold for a third season in Tennessee.
This was largely a formality given Firkser’s status as an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA). If you need a refresher on what that designation means, here it is from NFL.com:
Exclusive rights free agent (ERFA): Any player with fewer than three accrued seasons and an expired contract. If his original team offers him a one-year contract and the league minimum (based on his credited seasons), the player cannot negotiate with other teams.
The exact terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, but you can expect Firkser’s salary for the 2020 season to be somewhere around $700,000 unless Jon Robinson chose to reward him with a deal larger than the required amount based on the tight end’s two years of service. That would be relatively abnormal, especially in an offseason where the Titans will need every available dollar to keep the core that took them to the AFC Championship intact.
ERFA’s aren’t truly “free” unless the team simply doesn’t want them back so this isn’t a real surprise, but it’s good to see nonetheless. Firkser has been very productive in limited action over the last two years, compiling 33 catches for 429 yards and 2 touchdowns in 27 regular season appearances. He also made some key contributions in the playoffs with two big catches, including the team’s first touchdown, against the Patriots and another TD grab against Kansas City.
Whether Firkser can expand his role beyond his current “third down tight end” job remains to be seen, but he’s very good at what the Titans ask him to do, and at a cap hit at the veteran minimum for another season, this is a no-brainer value move for Jon Robinson.
The Titans have two other ERFA’s — WR Cameron Batons and EDGE Reggie Gilbert — among the 22 free agents set to hit the market if they aren’t re-signed prior to the NFL’s March 18th free agency opening date.