Broncos make a free-agency false start, too

Getty Images

When the word came during a break in Friday’s PFT Live that running back Willis McGahee had agreed to terms with the Broncos, it didn’t occur to me that McGahee, who was officially cut Thursday by the Ravens, fell into the same boat as Vince Young and Roy Williams.

But like the Eagles and Bears, who technically jumped the gun by having contact with Young and Williams, respectively, before they appear on the official personnel notice to be published on or after 4:00 p.m. Friday, the Broncos can’t talk to McGahee until that happens.

So now the Broncos are trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube, telling Jason LaCanfora of NFL Network that a deal isn’t done — after, of course, LaCanfora confirmed our report that a deal is in place.

Nice try.

Of course, the Broncos could back out of the deal, since none of these deals are final until they are signed.  Still, the rule isn’t violated by doing a deal.  It’s by having contact.  So unless LaCanfora is now reporting, like Schefter did earlier today regarding Roy Williams, that LaCanfora was wrong when he said the deal was done and that the truth is that the two sides haven’t even talked, it’s a distinction without a difference.

As to the Broncos’ sensitivity to a form-over-substance issue, especially since the Ravens told McGahee on Tuesday that he’d be released, presumably so that he could find a new job, keep in mind that Adam Schefter of ESPN (the guy who started this whole mess last night by musing that Young may have to “clear waivers”) reported that the league has reminded the teams of the rule in this regard via e-mail this morning.

Said the e-mail from the league:  “Notwithstanding a media announcement by a club regarding the termination or waiver request of one of its players, another club cannot contact such player or his agent prior to the player appearing on a personnel notice as a termination.  A club that violates this rule is guilty of tampering and subject to discipline by the Commissioner.  A player is not officially terminated from his contract until such notification appears on the Personnel Notice.”

In other words, no one can talk to Vince Young or Roy Williams or Willis McGahee or any other veteran who was cut on Thursday until the personnel notice is released on Friday.

Clearly, though, it has happened.  Even more likely, plenty more teams than the Eagles, Bears, and Broncos have broken this rule.

17 responses to “Broncos make a free-agency false start, too

  1. Looks like rules and bylaws are being broken left and right in this “Frenzy” and with teams like the Patriots stacking talent, can someone please tell me how this new NFL is different from the NBA which is now just going into it’s own lockout? Was the NBA further along than the NFL?

  2. 303bengalguy says:
    Jul 29, 2011 1:33 PM
    Looks like rules and bylaws are being broken left and right in this “Frenzy” and with teams like the Patriots stacking talent, can someone please tell me how this new NFL is different from the NBA which is now just going into it’s own lockout? Was the NBA further along than the NFL?

    I am not even sure what this statement is saying. The Pats traded for two guys. Hardley “stacking talent” And what does any of this have to do with the NBA ?? It doesn’t even make sense.

    Look I understand your teams ownership is the worst in the history of the world but that doesn’t give you the right to attack the NFL.

  3. It’s a big deal to me because my Lions lost a pick and had to swap picks for “tampering”. Rules are rules and all guilty parties should be punished.

  4. @303bengalguy – If the Pats are “stacking” talent, I hope for Ochocinco’s sake that he gets to be on top of the stack…underneath Fat Albert would be a very bad place to be.

  5. Uh-oh, violating a rule layed out in a memo. That’ll be $750,000 fines and a first round draft pick for all offenders.

  6. McGahee is a washed up punk who never did much of anything.
    The Broncos, along with the Bengals are the two worst run franchises in the NFL.
    Bringing back Elway to tap into the glory years in a desperate hope of bringing them back will not work. He isnt suited to be an NFL exec.
    Ask Buffalo how that worked out with Marv Levy as GM.
    Broncose have been going backwards for years now, and no one wants to play there.
    Not that ousting Shanahan was a bad move…He’s the biggest doosh of them all.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!