I'm just making a short post here in hopes that folks will understand why we're in the position we're in with Brandon Carr.
In 2008, Brandon Carr was drafted by the Chiefs in the 5th round (140th overall). He signed a 3 year deal on June 11, 2008 worth roughly $1.36 million.
In my opinion, Carl Peterson should have had better foresight than what he did and signed Carr to at least a 4 year deal, but hindsight is 20/20 when it comes to whether a 5th rounder from a small school is going to make it in the league. Carl should have seen that any players signed to 3 year deals from the 2008 draft would have expiring contracts in 2010, an uncapped year because of the CBA. Hopefully everyone knows that the league implemented the 30% rule to keep teams, like the Cowboys for instance, from creating huge, bloated contracts during years where no salary cap is in place. So, I'm sure the Chiefs would have loved to have signed Carr to an extension roughly worth $12 million for 4 years (just an example), but they couldn't. If he had received a raise of over 30% from his previous contract, he would have automatically become an unrestricted free agent in 2011. The Chiefs wanted to protect their investment and their budding young star cornerback.
In 2011, Brandon Carr was a restricted free agent. Any player with less than 4 years (has 3 accrued seasons of service) in the league and an expired contract is a restricted free agent. The Chiefs tendered Carr for a first round draft pick. In this case, Carr had the opportunity to negotiate with other teams. If another team had made Carr an offer, the Chiefs would have had the opportunity to match the offer or refuse, in which case the new team Carr signed with would owe the Chiefs a first round draft pick. This did not happen and Brandon signed his tender on Aug. 4, 2011 to join the team at training camp. I believe the tender amount was $3.5 million.
Fast forward to 2012. Brandon Carr and the Chiefs did not work out a new contract during the 2011 season. Why not? I really have no idea. Now he is an unrestricted free agent since he has now accrued 4 years in the league. The Chiefs cannot tender Carr, but still have the opportunity to place the franchise tag on him. However, with the Chiefs also needing to re-sign Dwayne Bowe, placing the tag on Carr is highly unlikely.
Anyway, I'm not going to claim I'm 100% accurate with everything here, but I feel certain I'm pretty close. I just hoped to help folks understand where we are with Carr and how we got here.