Tampering Season won’t be necessary when the lockout is lifted. Instead, contact with unrestricted free agents by all tams will be allowed almost immediately.
We’ve known all along that teams would have a window after the lockout is lifted to re-sign their own players. That’s in the deal. We didn’t know that teams would be able to talk to any free agent they choose during the period.
In theory, the Texans could be negotiating with Nnamdi Asomugha by 2 p.m. ET on Saturday if the players ratified the CBA Friday. (Only the Raiders would be able to sign Asomugha before Wednesday.)
It’s the right move and likely a sea change in how the NFL handles free agency. Tampering ran rampant before previous free agent periods, with teams negotiating contracts before contact was allowed. Now the NFL appears to be adopting an NBA-style model where free agents can negotiate with anyone they want well before they can sign.
We know the players haven’t ratified the CBA yet. But we also know DeMaurice Smith and his executive committee negotiated and accepted these terms or they wouldn’t be part of the package. It’s player-friendly and these terms will be part of the agreement when it happens.
The realists out there would point out Tampering Season is already happening out there. That’s true, but the NFL still took steps to eliminate flagrant rule-breaking by changing the rules.
They needed to enforce the rules or change them and finally did something about it.