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Free agents can’t practice with teams until August 4th

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The opening of the free agency signing period on Friday promises to be one of the most frenzied atmospheres around the league that any of us can remember.

Once everyone is signed, we’ll all probably need a break. Good thing the CBA provides one.

Language in the CBA prohibits players who sign new contracts from practicing with their teams until the start of the new league year. That will not occur until Thursday, August 4th, almost a week after the start of the signing period and the start of all 32 training camps. The rule applies to players re-signing with their old teams as well since they will not be reporting under an existing contract. Teams like the Saints, with 26 free agents, would be affected heavily by this rule as they try to adapt to the condensed offseason timeline.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com points out that the rule could also wind up affecting players who get traded. He uses Kevin Kolb of the Eagles as an example, pointing out that the acquiring team would likely want to redo the contract and that would affect Kolb’s availability to practice with his new offense.

The rule only applies to veteran players, so rookies, drafted or undrafted, are able to start practicing as soon as they sign their contracts. If they sign with a team with a lot of free agent acquisitions or retentions, they’ll have a little extra opportunity to show their stuff before the vets arrive.

Teams bringing in new quarterbacks figure to be the most affected by this rule, although players who fall under its auspices are able to do classroom work and other non-physical activities with the team. That said, there’s not going to be much about this breakneck period that projects well for teams in serious flux and this rule serves to underline that fact.

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17 Responses to “Free agents can’t practice with teams until August 4th”
  1. xinellum says: Jul 25, 2011 8:57 PM

    Isn’t it August 4th or as soon as the players reform as a union and approve the CBA? My understanding is that if the players turn in their union and voting cards at team facilities and it is approved before the end of the week then the league year can be moved up. This will allow the early consumation of the free agency contracts, allow teams to start writing checks to free agents and thus allowing free agents to start practicing as well. Correct me if I am wrong…

  2. Deb says: Jul 25, 2011 8:57 PM

    So if (when) we re-sign LaMarr Woodley, he can’t practice until August 4th????? He’s been posting for days how excited he is about getting started.

    What a stupid rule.

  3. tumtum1288 says: Jul 25, 2011 8:58 PM

    Hey PFT team please make sure you all are ready for the f5 frenzy that comes on Friday at 6pm. You have NBC behind you now please make sure you’re ready.

  4. cup1981 says: Jul 25, 2011 9:10 PM

    So if (when) we re-sign LaMarr Woodley, he can’t practice until August 4th????? He’s been posting for days how excited he is about getting started.

    ———————————————————————————

    Woodley’s not a free agent. The Steelers would be extending his current contract, so this does not apply to him.

  5. steelerfan9598 says: Jul 25, 2011 9:11 PM

    @ Deb: Woodley is franchised and signed the tender so, he has an ‘existing contract’.

  6. theglobalbrief says: Jul 25, 2011 9:14 PM

    …And this is how lawyers manage to make everything more complicated than it needs to be.

  7. thephantomstranger says: Jul 25, 2011 9:23 PM

    I’ve thought about this for less than two seconds and I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a ridiculous rule. You’re welcome.

  8. stevebarlow says: Jul 25, 2011 9:28 PM

    What about traded players?

  9. imjinbrdgr says: Jul 25, 2011 9:32 PM

    Why do the rich in this country refuse to pay their fair share and why does the Republican Party insist on bending to their every whim?

    Call your congressman and insist on a balanced approach to getting US out of this crisis.

  10. jbythebay says: Jul 25, 2011 9:42 PM

    at least the Saints already have an excuse for when they get crushed by the 13 time world champions on September 8.

  11. monk316 says: Jul 25, 2011 9:50 PM

    It’s when the union reforms that they can practice with the team. The deadline to reform the union is August 4th. I imagine it gets done before then.

  12. kaveech says: Jul 25, 2011 9:54 PM

    Oh yeah like we need a real liberal approach here. Hey let’s just raise taxes, Hey Acorn can you please help the NFL out. You sound like an idiot. Let’s just tax rich people that’ll help this country out. Who needs to worry about bettering education and revamping the US’s economy when we can just have “the rich” do it and tax them? This is a football website imjinbrdgr!! Now c’mon owners spend some money!!!!!

  13. fonetiklee says: Jul 25, 2011 10:03 PM

    @ imjinbrdgr

    Whatever your political opinions, this is hardly the right venue to express them. We come here to read and talk about football, not politics. Take that somewhere else.

  14. drevilstolemymojito says: Jul 25, 2011 10:39 PM

    Man, the preseason games are gonna suck way worsen than normal, and the early season games will be very weak. I did finally send in my season ticket payment this morning though.

  15. trbowman says: Jul 25, 2011 11:17 PM

    This is profootballtalk, get out of here with that political mumbo jumbo.

  16. realitypolice says: Jul 25, 2011 11:17 PM

    imjinbrdgr says:
    Jul 25, 2011 9:32 PM
    Why do the rich in this country refuse to pay their fair share and why does the Republican Party insist on bending to their every whim?

    Call your congressman and insist on a balanced approach to getting US out of this crisis.
    ==========================

    I agree with fonetiklee that this is hardly the place for this conversation, but I can help myself.

    The wealthiest 1% of the population pay 37% of all US income taxes, and the top 10% pay 68% of all income taxes.

    What exactly would you consider their fair share to be?

  17. Deb says: Jul 25, 2011 11:38 PM

    @cup1981 & steelerfan9598 …

    ROFL … well, no wonder Woodley keeps posting like there’s no chance he’s not going to be with the Steelers this season.

    Thanks, fellas. :)

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