Free agency starts next Monday at noon ET


The offseason schedule moves quickly.

Three weeks ago today, we were discussing and debating the aftermath of Super Bowl LVIII. One week ago today, the NFL descended on Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine.

One week from today, free agency begins.

Technically, it doesn’t start until Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. As a practical matter, it gets going at noon ET on Monday, March 11.

That’s when the so-called “legal tampering” period begins. Teams will start calling agents to officially extend offers. Plenty of those offers will be quickly accepted, since they were negotiated and wink-nod finalized before the legal tampering period opened. Reports will emerge, courtesy of agents sending out text messages to one or more reporters, of deals being done. The numbers will be inflated. Sometimes by a little, sometimes by a lot.

None of those deals (other than contracts between a free agent and his prior team) will be finalized and official until signed and submitted to the league on or after 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 13. Until that happens, the player can back out. It happens, but rarely. Still, nothing is done until it’s done.

It all starts next Monday at noon. Not Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. ET. Monday at noon. And we’ll be tracking each and every move and rumor and whisper and transaction, as they happen.

We’ll also do this. After the dust settles on each deal, we’ll get the official numbers and break most of them down, showing what the contracts are truly worth.

All too often, the truth conflicts with the initial reports as to the value of the deal. Any reporter who has a problem with that won’t get the luxury of pushing the half-truth to his or her audience. We’d rather wait for the chance to tell you the whole truth about each deal.

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Author : ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

Publish date : 2024-03-04 17:30:42

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