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NFL eyes “signing day” for free agency

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As the NFL attempts to reconfigure its offseason calendar in order to generate even more interest in the sport during periods when the sport isn’t being, you know, played, the foundation for one important change already has been laid.

As former Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli said during Thursday’s edition of Pro Football Talk on NBC Sports Network, the NFL hopes to create a “signing day” for free agents, similar to the phenomenon that has arisen in recent years regarding the date in early February on which high school players pick their college destinations.

We’ve confirmed that the NFL has specifically proposed a “signing day” in communications with the NFLPA regarding a revised offseason calendar.  As Pioli explained, the new three-day legal tampering period is aimed at setting the stage for a one-day bonanza of announcements of new destinations for free agents.

The problem, as a practical matter, with a contrived NFL signing day is that, during the three-day legal tampering period, word will emerge as to where a player plans to sign.  Moreover, the first day of free agency already operates that way, since all sorts of illegal tampering ensures that players will know where they’ll be signing within hours after the market officially opens.

Still, the not-too-distant future could entail an NFL Network marathon broadcast featuring players sitting before a collection of officially-licensed New Era hats and placing on his head the hat corresponding with his new team.

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42 Responses to “NFL eyes “signing day” for free agency”
  1. jlb10 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:13 PM

    no surprise here. any way they can squeeze more $$ out of the fans!

  2. transam7816 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:13 PM

    No. Not needed

  3. nwfisch says: Feb 22, 2013 3:14 PM

    Ugh. The current format makes plenty of money and has more than enough drama. Just leave things where they are now.

  4. logicalvoicesays says: Feb 22, 2013 3:15 PM

    I’m so proud my franchise builds through the draft. Free Agency spenders always fall flat…look at Buffalo and Philadelphia. The NFL could learn from Snyder/Allen/Shanahan on how to build a winner.

  5. ridingwithnohandlebars says: Feb 22, 2013 3:19 PM

    At least when Lebron did it he was supporting charity. The NFL would only do this to make more money for itself.

  6. romoscollarbone says: Feb 22, 2013 3:19 PM

    Yea, Pierre Garcon is home grown, right? So was London Fletcher. By trading the farm for RGIII, the only way Wash will grow for a while is thru FA…


  7. der6495 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:20 PM

    “I’m taking my talents too…”

    Um, no thanks.

  8. mburkett1980 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:20 PM

    The problem with this is, word will always come out early if a player has agreed to terms on a new contract with a team. This is a two-person dance.

    In recruiting, the kids already have multiple scholarship offers in hand, so there is high drama as to what school he will choose.

    Also, don’t forget the fact that teams will want quick answers, so that if need be, they can move on to their contingency plan.

    This sounds good in theory, but will be too difficult to execute as a true “Signing Day” format.

  9. ravenmuscle says: Feb 22, 2013 3:20 PM

    Yep…seeing Albert Haynesworth putting on a Redskin cap while he was polishing off 10 Big Macs while counting Danny Snyder’s millions would be a sight to behold.

  10. marvsleezy says: Feb 22, 2013 3:24 PM

    The NFL is already getting beaten to the punch by twitter on draft day – This would be even harder to keep secret.

  11. bucsfan3 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:26 PM


    You’re kidding right? Snyder is one of the biggest idiots during the free agency period.

  12. psuravens19 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:27 PM

    Might be one of the dumbest idea’s ever…

  13. buddysguys says: Feb 22, 2013 3:27 PM

    fine by me just switch the draft back to Saturday Sunday…..or even a Friday, Saturday Sunday setup….please!!!!

  14. blackandbluedivision says: Feb 22, 2013 3:32 PM

    How many teams did Peyton Manning visit when he was a free agent? You want all of these players to travel the country in three days. Just for one day?

    The NFL is doing too much in the name of making $$$. Where is the player input?

  15. kash71 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:32 PM

    New TV contracts, a CBA in their favor, but the owners are still searching for ways to squeeze every possible penny out of the fans.

  16. silverhornet says: Feb 22, 2013 3:37 PM

    legal tampering? lol…

  17. packerfan1000 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:40 PM

    I’m so proud my franchise builds through the draft. Free Agency spenders always fall flat…look at Buffalo and Philadelphia. The NFL could learn from Snyder/Allen/Shanahan on how to build a winner.


    Ha! I thought this post was going to come from a Packer fan or something…then I saw Snyder and realized why all the thumbs down.

  18. zeedoubleyou says: Feb 22, 2013 3:42 PM

    The NFL already has this but they call it the NFL Draft.

    If a team built through free agency ever strikes gold and wins the Super Bowl, fans might start caring about a Free Agency Signing Day.

  19. skinsrock says: Feb 22, 2013 3:43 PM


  20. EJ says: Feb 22, 2013 3:45 PM

    logicalvoicesays says: Feb 22, 2013 3:15 PM

    I’m so proud my franchise builds through the draft. Free Agency spenders always fall flat…look at Buffalo and Philadelphia. The NFL could learn from Snyder/Allen/Shanahan on how to build a winner.

    Through the draft? Your team has acquired many players that were drafted elsewhere and played for different teams, here is some: Briscoe/Bengals, Kettani/Patriots, Garcon/Colts, Morgan/49ers, Peterson/Rams, Montgomery/Panthers, Carriker/Rams, Fletcher/Rams, Hall/Falcons, Merriweather/Patriots, Forbath/Cowboys, Merling/Dolphins, Holland/Buccaneers, Brown/Saints, and that is just some of them. The Redskins are no different than the Bills or Philadelphia. NFL teams are mostly comprised of players drafted by other teams.

  21. tincansailor981 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:46 PM

    How juvenile and transparently greedy. These are grown men, not high schoolers

  22. rcali says: Feb 22, 2013 3:51 PM

    Yeah, maybe Lebron would like to chime in on what a bad idea this is.

  23. giantssb42champs says: Feb 22, 2013 3:55 PM

    I can see it now. $250 per ticket for Signing Day Fan Experience. Ugh.

  24. fmwarner says: Feb 22, 2013 3:56 PM

    logicalvoicesays says: Feb 22, 2013 3:15 PM

    I’m so proud my franchise builds through the draft. Free Agency spenders always fall flat…look at Buffalo and Philadelphia. The NFL could learn from Snyder/Allen/Shanahan on how to build a winner.

    Yes, yes. Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Adam Archuleta, Dana Stubblefield, Jeremiah Trotter, Antwan Randle-El and of course Fat Albert.

    All homegrown talents well worth the investment.

  25. classyjacklambert says: Feb 22, 2013 4:00 PM

    On top of all the examples everyone has already put about the redskins not building through the draft… What the hell has Dan Snyder ever won?

  26. inteditrust says: Feb 22, 2013 4:18 PM

    Real mature…..I don’t think anybody really wants to burn bridges by psyching out other teams with a hat wearing session, possibly even their former team. On the other hand, I guess it was pretty hilarious to watch Lebron make a total ass of himself…

  27. bigdawg24 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:20 PM

    Why are you guys asking Pioli? He single-handedly flushed my beloved Kansas City Chiefs down the toilet.

    His drafts were terrible: See Tyson Jackson, John Baldwin, Dontarie Poe, on and on and on and on….

  28. inteditrust says: Feb 22, 2013 4:22 PM

    As long as Titus Young says “Welcome to Delicious” when he puts on that funny Culvers hat over the Hardees and McDonalds ones, it would all be worth it.

  29. rpiotr01 says: Feb 22, 2013 4:28 PM

    Bad enough they make kids do it, what kind of narcissistic professional NFL player would go in for this kind of drivel, and as a GM, why would you want someone who engages is such “me first” behavior on your team to begin with?

  30. vtsquirm says: Feb 22, 2013 4:50 PM

    how many bad ideas can Goodell come up with? first you move the draft to prime time (angering fans everywhere), then you threaten an 18 game season (angering players everywhere), you screw the players union by conspiring to create an imaginary cap in the uncapped year, you threaten to move the Super bowl to London, you screw the Saints by penalizing them 2 second round picks and suspending their coach for the whole season based on information that has never been presented, you burn the illegal tapes showing that the Patriots cheated to win the Super Bowl by taping the Rams practice before the game. Am i missing anything?

    I really wouldn’t mind someone cutting off your junk and feeding it to you.

  31. ranoversquarells says: Feb 22, 2013 5:00 PM

    I for one like the idea. Just have to find a way to shield against “insiders” spilling the beans …

  32. 808raiderinparadise says: Feb 22, 2013 5:02 PM

    FYI thats Eddie Vanderdoes going to Notre Dame. He scary D linemen,

  33. johnnyb216 says: Feb 22, 2013 5:20 PM

    This is getting ridiculous. When will it ever be enough? The answer is, when money is involved, never. Why can’t they just leave things alone. Does anybody else carry a grudge about the way they destroyed the draft? Used to be a day where I could spend the whole day with my buddies, drink lots of beer and eat some awesome food without having to worry about going to work with a hangover the next day. Thanks for taking away one of the funnest Saturday’s of the off-season, Rodger. I think the nfl is starting to fly bit too close to the sun and troy aikman may be right about the future of the league’s popularity after all.

  34. NOLA in Focus says: Feb 22, 2013 5:46 PM

    Guys. The Dan Snyder fan was being sarcastic. His joke was funny. Your Drew Brees wants an explanation jokes are not, at least any longer.

  35. matthewcarlson1 says: Feb 22, 2013 6:05 PM

    Ya know what? I actually like this. It is exciting when your team signs a big-name player and this would be fun. But there are usually only about 10 FAs that everyone cares about.

  36. toonloonboon says: Feb 22, 2013 6:23 PM

    hey roger goodell, demaurice smith, and nfl owners……look! theres a dime on the ground!

    now lets all watch them break each others necks, stop traffic, dive and fight for it.

  37. lostsok says: Feb 22, 2013 6:28 PM

    It’s an interesting idea, but it won’t work. Agents want to drag negotiations out and work teams against each other. Trying to do something this streamlined will not fit their model one bit.

  38. mackcarrington says: Feb 22, 2013 7:01 PM

    Similar to a “Job Fair”. the NFL could have a “Signing Fair”. All of the teams would have tables and booths in some convention hall, and the free agents would walk around to all of the teams, getting offers and info on perspective teams. They could televise it and make a bonanza !!!!

  39. married2anfladdict says: Feb 22, 2013 8:03 PM

    The NFL is a BUSINESS, they are in BUSINESS to make $$$, so lets not hate on the NFL for trying to make a dollar. On the other hand, I am surprised they didn’t think out of the box a little more on this one by making Signing Day unique to the NFL, versus mimicking College Signing Day. Another Goodell FAIL if you ask me!

  40. raiderapologist says: Feb 22, 2013 9:17 PM

    logicalvoicesays says: Feb 22, 2013 3:15 PM

    I’m so proud my franchise builds through the draft. Free Agency spenders always fall flat…look at Buffalo and Philadelphia. The NFL could learn from Snyder/Allen/Shanahan on how to build a winner.
    By building through the draft, logicalvoice means spending three first round picks and one second round pick on one guy. It might be a couple of years before a winner is determined.

  41. jetnotjets says: Feb 22, 2013 9:56 PM

    This is dumb. Youo not play with men’s lovelihood for TV ratings and internet buzz. NFL players are not kids vying for limited scholarship positions.These are grown men collecting paychecks for their families. You do not trivialize that with something as silly as a signing day when this is their profession. It’s hard enough to get a deal done as it is. Leave the system alone. The first day of free agency already has this element.The NFL front office just needs to stop with all this nonsense.Tradition still matters in this world.

  42. jetnotjets says: Feb 22, 2013 9:59 PM


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