The Washington Football Team has made a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Cam Sims in an attempt to keep the former Alabama wide receiver with the team in the 2021 NFL season.
Washington announced it had placed a tender on Sims on Tuesday, which will prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent at 3 p.m. CDT Wednesday. But the team did not specify which of the four tender levels it had chosen.
The Washington Post reported the team had placed a right-of-first-refusal tender on Sims.
Under that tender, Washington has offered a $2.133 million contract for the 2021 season to Sims, who still can negotiate with other NFL teams. If Sims gets a better offer than that, then Washington would have the opportunity to match those terms.
Sims played for $675,000 in 2020.
A restricted free agent is a player with three NFL seasons and an expiring contract.
Sims had two receptions for 27 yards in his first two NFL seasons, and six games into his third, he had another three for 39 yards while playing 16 offensive snaps.
But in the seventh game of 2020, Washington practically had no choice but to play Sims because of injuries and depth issues, and he blossomed when he got on the field.
Sims started the final 10 games of the season and Washington’s playoff game. He caught 36 passes for 542 yards and one touchdown in the 11 games, including a 110-yard performance against the New York Giants on Nov. 8 and a 104-yard showing against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the postseason on Jan. 9.
Among Washington’s wide receivers, Sims finished second to Terry McLaurin in receptions and receiving yards in 2020.
After catching 41 passes in four seasons at Alabama, Sims signed with Washington in 2018 as an undrafted rookie. Sims led Washington’s wide receivers with five catches for 131 yards in the preseason, and he made the regular-season roster.
But blocking on the kickoff-return team in the opening seconds of the 2018 campaign, Sims suffered a high ankle sprain and missed the rest of the season.
In 2019, Sims didn’t make the active roster coming out of the preseason. After a stint on Washington’s practice squad, he played in seven games. Sims had two receptions for 27 yards as he got on the field for 56 offensive snaps and 63 special-teams plays in 2019.
In 2020, Washington again released Sims at the end of training camp and re-signed him for the practice squad. But he played in every game. Washington elevated Sims from the practice squad for the first two contests, then signed him to the active roster.