Mike Green declines Caps’ qualifying offer

Updated: Defenseman Mike Green declined the Capitals’ qualifying offer of a one-year contract worth $5 million worth $3.5 million. He had until 5 p.m. Sunday to accept the deal, as was the case with all restricted free agents considering qualifying offers.

Green’s qualifying offer was for $3.5 million because the defenseman’s 2011-12 salary of $5 million included a $1.5 million signing bonus that did not count toward the qualifying offer, according to his agent Craig Oster.

Both sides can continue to negotiate a new contract despite the deadline, and that’s expected to happen in this case.

On Saturday, General Manager George McPhee described the expiration date on qualifying offers as an “artificial deadline.” While McPhee didn’t share any insight into the negotiations, he expressed optimism when questioned about re-signing Green and fellow restricted free-agent defenseman John Carlson.

“When you’re sort of negotiating in good faith and trying to get it done — I don’t think anybody’s trying to squeeze anybody on the other side — and so in some ways it’s an artificial deadline,” McPhee said when asked Saturday how the deadline alters negotiations. “I think we’ve had healthy discussions with both players, and there are deals to be made there. So I don’t expect tomorrow to be a big day with respect to signing these players. I think that’s something we’ll get done sooner than later and they’ll be deals that we can live with and they can live with.”

At this time it’s unclear whether Carlson accepted his qualifying offer of one-year, $826,875 but it’s believed he will seek a longer-term contract.

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