For teams with multiple first round draft picks, what are the rules defining which first round draft pick that a team would need to give up if it signs a restricted free agent (RFA) that have the first round tender? An example would be the Cleveland Browns, which have the 4th and 22nd draft picks in the first round of the 2012 draft. One writer, Bill Barnwell, noted:

If we understand the rules right, a successful bid on Wallace would force the Browns to give up their selection — the fourth overall pick — and not the 22nd overall pick they received from the Falcons as part of the Julio Jones trade last year.

Does anyone have a reference/citation to the rule that Mr. Barnwell mentioned?

  • 2
    Good question. There's nothing obvious in article 9 of the CBA preventing them from giving up the #22 pick instead, but perhaps it's covered elsewhere in the 300+ pages. I'll keep digging. Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 20:32
  • I couldn't find anything, but it's hard to prove something isn't true without finding explicit language to the contrary. Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 13:21
  • @MichaelMyers, agreed - I couldn't find anything either.
    – JW8
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 16:18

2 Answers 2


I finally found something in the CBA: Article 9 Section 3 (c)

Any Club that does not have available, in the upcoming Draft, the selection choice or choices (its own or better choices in the applicable rounds) needed to provide Draft Choice Compensation in the event of a timely First Refusal Exercise Notice may not sign an Offer Sheet in such circumstances.

This seems to indicate that you get the best pick available from the team signing the player you've tendered.

  • I don't know that it would necessarily be the best pick; it looks like the team just has the option of giving you a better one if they already traded away their normal pick. Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 20:09
  • @MichaelMyers True, it's a rather flimsy argument and I wouldn't take it to a lawyer :).
    – wax eagle
    Commented Mar 14, 2012 at 20:16

To me the cba reads team must give their original 1st round pick or in the event they already traded that one away and have acquired another 1st round pick that that is better than their original then they can sign a player with a 1st round tender.

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