Considering the added pressure applied by the flat salary cap, restricted free-agent negotiations will take on even greater importance this offseason. That process is set to begin in just over four weeks, as TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that the deadline for teams to submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents has been set for 4 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Oct. 7.

In order for any team to retain its rights to a restricted free agent, it must submit a qualifying offer. This value is based on the restricted free agent's expiring contract; a base salary greater than or equal to $1 million is owed only a matching offer, while a base salary less than $1 million is owed only a qualifying offer of 105% of the base (a base salary less than $660,000 is owed 110%). New this year is also a rule pertaining to those contracts signed after July 10 for the purpose of burning an entry-level contract. Those players may receive a qualifying offer up to 120% of their base salary.