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Agent powers, restricted free agency questions

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K. Dog

On the Game Day Roster
A few questions about agency and RFAs (all motivated by the poignant/mordant Butler situation):

(1) When a player is represented by an agent, can the team communicate directly with the player about contractual matters, or must all offers and discussions be communicated only to the agent? If not, do the Patriots ever discuss contract issues with players represented by an agent (e.g., "your agent is not acting in your best interest: you should take this offer").

(2) If the team makes an offer to an agent, must the agent show that offer to the player? Or can the agent reject the offer without showing it to the player?

(3) When a restricted free agent is made an offer by another team, the original team has the right to "match" that offer. But what does that mean? Does it mean just for the contract year, or for future years as well? For example, suppose the Steelers offer Butler a 5 year $75M contract, $35M guaranteed, at $15M/year. Do the Patriots have to match that, or just the first $15M/year, to keep Butler?
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