The Rams have applied a lower tier tender to upcoming restricted free agent RB Benny Cunningham:
Rams placed the low RFA tender on speedy back/special teams stud Benny Cunningham. Bet he gets some interest from other teams— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 9, 2016
For restricted free agents, tenders can be applied in three tiers: high, medium and low. All three indicate the player will receive a one-year deal and provide the player's current team with the right of first refusal, meaning they have the chance to match any offer made from an outside bidding team. The difference between the three designations is how much money and what draft pick is awarded the current team if they opt not to match.
A high tender means the team is awarded ~$3.582m and a first-round pick.
A medium tender nets ~$2.516m and a second-round pick.
A low tender results in ~$1.647m and a pick from the same round in which the player was originally selected through the NFL Draft.
Since Cunningham was a UDFA out of Middle Tennesse St., if a team makes a qualifying offer and the Rams don't match, they would not receive a compensatory pick.
What does this all mean? It means the Rams are locked in with Todd Gurley atop the RB depth chart and everyone else is expendable. With Tre Mason likely facing a suspension after being arrested and tased in Miami for possession of marijuana and various traffic misdemeanors, he may not be available early in the 2016 regular season. That would likely leave Benny as the RB2 behind Gurley.
Cunningham has played through his initial three-year contract featuring in 46 games since 2013 racking up 150 rushes, 647 yards and four TDs.