Latest timeline confirms that free agency could start Tuesday

Reuters

At a time when it appeared that Saints quarterback Drew Brees was on track to being even more clueless than the media when it comes to pegging the start of free agency, Brees could be right on the money.

Adam Schefter of ESPN has the “latest timeline” for the return of the NFL, which he says is subject to the approval of the NFLPA*.  (It they truly have a done deal, shouldn’t they also have an agreed-to timeline?)

Per Schefter, the new league year would start at 4:00 p.m. ET on August 2, eight days from now.

Before then, however, the NFL would be back in business.  Teams would be able to sign their own free agents this afternoon.  Teams also would be permitted to begin negotiating trades, which would become official on Saturday.

Also, teams would be permitted to start signing free agents at 12:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday.  Those contracts would not become official until August 2.

Also, 10 teams would report Wednesday, 10 would report Thursday, and 10 would report Friday.  The final two teams, the Jets and Texans, would report on Sunday.

The reporting dates apparently will land 15 days before the teams’ first preseason games.  (If NFL.com hadn’t taken down the preseason schedule, we could figure out who will report when.)

Training camp officially would open on August 2, even though every team will have reported by then.

So, after six months on the roller coaster, it’s time to fasten your seat belts.