The Indianapolis Colts announced a number of roster moves today pertaining to their restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents. The team announced that they have made a qualifying offer to restricted free agent linebacker Jerrell Freeman and exclusive rights tenders to linebackers Daniel Adongo and Cam Johnson along with running back Daniel "Boom" Herron.
Freeman has been the team's starting inside linebacker for the past three seasons since being signed out of the CFL, and in both 2012 and 2013 he led the team in tackles. Over the past three years, Freeman has racked up 366 tackles, nine sacks, 14 passes defensed, three interceptions (one touchdown) and eight forced fumbles. He is a good linebacker, and though he had a down year in 2014 there was little doubt that the team would make a qualifying offer to Freeman.
Basically, here's what it means by qualifying offer: the Colts have tendered Freeman with a new deal, but he can negotiate with other teams for a certain period if he chooses. If he were to accept an offer from another team, the Colts would have the right of first refusal and could earn compensation in terms of draft pick(s) should Freeman sign elsewhere. Very rarely does a restricted free agent who is tendered sign elsewhere, so this move very likely means that Jerrell Freman will be returning to the Colts in 2015.
As for Daniel Adongo, Cam Johnson, and Boom Herron, they are all exclusive rights free agents. Once a team tenders an exclusive rights free agent, that player only has two options: either sign the offer and play for the team or not play in the NFL. So, in other words, while none of those three have officially signed their tenders yet, they're all coming back in 2015 for sure.
Adongo is a player who is still a project, but it was expected that the Colts weren't done with him yet. After being signed away from playing rugby in Africa, he spent the 2013 season learning the game of American football and then spent the 2014 season on injured reserve. Cam Johnson also spent much of the 2014 season on injured reserve, but the team hopes that he can provide pass rush help - an area that they are lacking at. And then Boom Heron had an impressive 2014 campaign with the Colts, playing in all 19 games (including playoffs) and starting six, rushing 123 times for 521 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 4.2 yards per carry and also adding 41 receptions for 301 yards in the passing game.