With the time line for approval of the labor agreement (once there’s finally an agreement) by the players still unclear, it’s looking like previous expectations for the launch of free agency will need to be adjusted.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported over the weekend that the three-day exclusive (eye roll) window for teams to negotiate with their impending free agents would open on Friday, July 22, with the free-agent frenzy launching on Monday, July 25.
Howard Balzer of 101espn.com and the Sports Xchange now reports that a slightly delayed schedule could be implemented. As Balzer hears it, the three-day exclusive (eye roll) window would open on Monday, July 25. Free agency would commence on Thursday, July 28.
Balzer also reports that teams would be permitted to sign draft picks and undrafted free agents as of July 25.
The period before Monday, July 25 would then be used by teams for the purposes of figuring out the new rules, assessing their status under the salary cap, and preparing to unload any veterans with cap numbers higher than their expected contribution justifies.
Presumably, teams will be able to dump veterans and/or renegotiate their contracts as of July 25.
Before any of that becomes relevant, we need a new labor deal. We still don’t have one yet.