For Eagles, Free Agency Negotiations Begin Tonight

Officially, NFL teams cannot sign free agents until Tuesday at 4 p.m.

But there’s a twist this year. The league has created a three-day period where teams can talk and negotiate with agents. That starts at midnight tonight and extends to Tuesday. The catch? No deals can be made official, and teams are not permitted to talk to the actual players.

“You get to be able to talk to them [the agents] and get parameters so you’re not spending all that time on Tuesday at 4 o’clock doing that,” said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. “At the same time, you’ve got to talk to the players. You’ve got to meet with the players, and you’ve got to get in front of them. You can’t do that until free agency kicks off. I think that’s when it kind of turns into high gear, but you save some of the background time.”

In other words, it’s a “legal tampering” period. Teams skirted the rules in the past, and they’re likely to find another way to do so this year. But the extra three-day window will extend the NFL news cycle as teams and agents are sure to float rumors all weekend long.

One thing to remember: Nothing’s done until it’s done. You’ll hear reports about deals being close or pretty much finalized quite a bit in the next few days. But since nothing can be made official until Tuesday, there will always be wiggle room.

“I think it’s fair to say that we felt that it was something that would at least bring some organization to what had been a very chaotic process,” said ESPN analyst Bill Polian, who was part of the league’s competition committee that discussed the change. “Agents can talk to clubs, they can go back to the old club with what one would assume would be a bona fide offer or some parameters.  They can gauge who is interested and who is not interested.

“So all of those things may bring a little more organization to it than had previously existed. But I’m going to be as anxious as you to see if we come out of the box with deals at 4:01 p.m., or if it serves as a way to sort of set the market before people begin to do deals.”

The Eagles have money to spend and needs to fill. It should be an eventful week coming up. We’ll have it all covered right here.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tj.hester.9 Tj Hester

    Sheil, I was wondering if Chip Kelly would go the route of displaying the team captain patches on the jerseys when the season starts and was looking for some insight, any thoughts?

    • Richard Colton

      TJ – who in your opinion demonstrated leadership worthy of a “C” last year?

      • chris

        I dont know all the rules as far as how many per team, but if i had to give one to each side of the ball and ST i’d go with Ryans, Avant and Colt Anderson. They at least played hard and showed heart. Not saying that they’d shine on another team but i guess if you had to start somewhere..just my opinion

        • djack10

          glad to see another fan recognizing avant. he shows a lot heart. and he catches the ball.

      • Cali bleeds Kelly green

        Some one that has not got enough credit and snubbed in Evan Mathis dats it also Mr. Ryans who at times was lost but still showed up.

  • BDAWKS

    for as long as i can remember until recent times DBacks has always been a strong suit in philly we had always found good young talent in the draft and locked them up in team friendly deals before they tested the freemarket and brought in the occasional strong leader vet to compliment are young talent now we need to raid the young talent other teams have failed to sign and get a couple of guys in the draft..I don’t think we should go after the big names that are looking for hefty guaranteed money as in recent times and a new culture among athletes these days players have seem to be reluctant to play with the fire and drive once you show them the money better to get young hungry players that will be playing for one more big contract of course DRC kinda dispelled that playing in a contract year but think in general better with a good talented young player with potential over proball player who feels entitled

    • peteike

      totally agree, good post. They should target some middle of the road guys with good character. Dont go for the big splash but def spend some of that money. Rebuild the culture first

  • Tom

    Shiel,
    What’s the reason for the Eagles delaying a decision on Nnamdi?

    • CJ

      Leverage. If he’s cut before free agency, he gets dips on the market. The longer they wait him out, the less money is out there, and the more leverage the team has.

  • Smegga

    You know what I’ve noticed the last few days? The NFLPA got screwed helping end the lockout in 2011.
    The teams made record profits last season, yet all teams are cutting players and renegotiating contracts in order to be under the cap. Why wasn’t the cap made higher? If the Pats have to ask Tom Brady to restructure his contract, doesn’t that show something went wrong? I am not feeling sorry for Brady, he has enough money, but the fact that one of the best quarterbacks in the league has to do it indicates that players got screwed.
    I’m tired of seeing players renegotiate their contracts and roll it over, with teams knowing full well that they will never have to pay that money.
    I know the NBA is different, smaller squads, more games, etc, and teams do screw up, but I would like a more guaranteed salary for NFL players.
    Mike Patterson was losing money because he got pneumonia!
    Anyway, I apologise for the length of this post. In the UK I don’t have many people to talk to about my favourite sport, and I just wanted to get it off my chest.

    • CJ

      To further your point, the cap is only has high as it is because the NFLPA agreed to defer the performance based payouts for two more years. That by definition of the program robs from the underpaid players so that teams can spend more to (over)pay free agents. To add insult to injury, there is some concern that players will be taxed for those bonuses this year, as opposed to when they’re actually paid for it in 2014. The NFLPA is horrendous.

      • GoBirds1

        Everyone seems to forget, that by virtue of the structure of the cap and other rules, except for rookie contracts, they only thing that matters is the guaranteed money. If the player out performs, he will hold out for more money. If he under-performs, the team will re-negotiate or cut him. So in effect the system works pretty well by self correcting compensation.

  • Jv

    Hey this might be random but do you guys think that there is any chance of chad Johnson coming to the eagles???

    • FMWarner

      I certainly hope not.