NFL free agency officially opens at midnight tonight, thanks to the NFL’s new “legal tampering” rule that for teams to speak to player’s agents for the three days leading up to the start of the official free agency period, which begin Tuesday at 4:00 pm EST.
This means that when midnight strikes, teams and agents will begin discussing contracts and sides will be working around the clock to get agreements in place before March 12. However, the talks will only be tween agents and NFL teams, as players are not permitted to make visits with teams during the legal tampering period unless it was the team that they played for the previous season.
Former NFL executive Bill Polian discussed what the three-day tampering period could mean for free agency:
“We discussed it when I was a member of the competition committee, [and] I think it’s fair to say that everybody will be interested to see how it works out[and] what the results of it are. I wouldn’t say that everybody was enthusiastic about it. We all had some reservations, but on balance I think it’s fair to say it was something that would at least bring some organization to what had been a very chaotic process. Now agents can talk to clubs, they can go back to the old clubs with what one would assume would be a bonafide offer or some parameters. They can gauge who’s interested and who’s not interested, so all of those things may bring a little more organization to it than had previously existed.”
The NFL’s version of Midnight Madness begins tonight, and will make the the next three days extremely fun and interesting to watch. Expect to see most of the top free agents reach agreements with teams by Tuesday, so that once 4 pm hits, all they have to do is sign on the dotted line.