By tendering Howard and Gay, the Rams have right of first refusal for any contract offer they each receive from another team. Both players are still free to negotiate with any team; if the Rams do not match a contract offer from another team, they are entitled to a fifth-round pick for Gay and seventh-round pick for Howard.
The deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets is April 22, while the deadline for a restricted free agent's prior club to exercise right of first refusal is April 27.
Draft compensation for each tender – regardless of round – is due in the same league year as the offer sheet is signed, except when received two days or later prior to the NFL Draft.
Gay was named to his first Pro Bowl last season after making 32 of 34 field goal attempts – including 23 consecutive makes – and 48 of 49 extra point attempts during the regular season, plus 12 of 14 field goal attempts and all 15 extra point attempts in the playoffs.
Howard posted 21 total tackles and his first career interception, plus three pass breakups in 12 games last season, making two starts.