On Saturday, the 32 NFL franchises dumped as many as 22 players per team onto the market.
Any of the players having fewer than four years in the NFL were required to pass through waivers. By rule, teams can’t contact the players and negotiate contracts or practice-squad assignments before the waiver period ends.
In the case of quarterback Chase Daniel, it appears that the Saints had premature communication with the player, before the league office informed the 32 teams that none of them had claimed the contract that the former Missouri quarterback had signed with the Redskins.
Per a league source, the notice regarding waiver claims arrived from Park Avenue at 4:45 p.m. ET on Sunday. “That is the first time any team could have known that Chase Daniel actually cleared waivers and was a free agent,” the source said.
But Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reported on his Twitter page nearly 30 minutes earlier (and, indeed, the time code doesn’t lie) that Daniel would sign with the Saints.
Hey, the Redskins are the last team for which anyone should shed tears, given the likelihood that the Redskins were negotiating a $100 million contract with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in advance of the official launch of free agency. But at least they waited until Haynesworth became a free agent to sign him.
In this case, La Canfora’s report proves that the Saints were talking to Daniel prematurely.
It’s arguably a no harm, no foul situation, since the Saints could have made a run at Daniel after he cleared waivers. Still, it’s a prime example of the fact that rules get broken all the time, and that only in the most obvious situations does the team that committed the infraction suffer a consequence.
This very well might be one of those obvious situations.
“That is some quick recruiting,” the source said. “Good thing the 49ers didn’t do it.”