God, you people can be a pain sometimes.
Here's more about Chet's FA status at the time.
Apr 15, 1998: -- Chester McGlockton may get an Offer --
The Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel are both reporting this morning that the Dolphins are interested in signing Oakland defensive tackle Chester McGlockton now that Oakland has refused to guarantee his franchise tag. The Herald is further reporting that Dolphins' Director of Football Operations Bob Ackles "spent Tuesday afternoon negotiating with the player's agent in hopes of signing him to an offer sheet before Thursday."
According to a deal reached earlier this week between the NFL and the players association, all teams that have a franchise player designated must have guaranteed that player's contract by 4 PM yesterday or that player became what amounts to a restricted free agent.
It's a special situation that needs some explaining. Basically, if a team guaranteed a player's salary yesterday, they retained the franchise rights to that player and everything that goes with it. If they chose not to guarantee the salary, then the compensation price for that player went way down.
In McGlockton's case, if any team can sign him to an offer sheet, the Raiders will have 24 hours to match that offer. If the Raiders don't match, then the team signing McGlockton must give up some compensation, but that compensation will be much lower than the 2 first round draft picks that they would have had to give up if McGlockton had stayed the Raiders' guaranteed franchise player.
The compensation that the signing team will have to give up depends on when McGlockton signs the offer sheet. If he signs it before midnight tomorrow, then the signing team will have to give up a 2nd round pick in this year's draft to the Raiders. If McGlockton doesn't sign with anyone before tomorrow at midnight, then the signing team must give up a 1st and a 3rd round pick in the 1999 draft to the Raiders.
Obviously, it's to the signing team's advantage to get a deal done before tomorrow night.
Other teams that might be in the running for McGlockton are reported to be Kansas City, Jacksonville and Denver.
In other related news, the Dolphins did guarantee the franchise tag that they placed on Tim Bowens, meaning that they must pay him at least the $2.88 million average price of last year's 5 highest paid defensive tackles in the NFL.