Report: NFL warns teams on striking deals before Tuesday

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By now, we know the general story about free agency: At 12 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, the negotiating period begins between agents and teams, but no deals can be signed until 4 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday.

That said, one of the major storylines everyone will be watching is if word of deals between players and teams leaks before Tuesday afternoon. Earlier Friday, PFT’s Mike Florio suggested that such news is “inevitable.”

However, according to multiple reports, the NFL has instructed teams that any such pacts whatsoever — written or otherwise — are forbidden until 4 p.m. Tuesday.

UPDATE 10:30 p.m. ET: The NFL memo, published by multiple entities, includes this passage: “Any announcement of an agreement or an agreement in principle by a club or another party, including, but not limited to, a certified agent, player, or media organization may subject the club to a tampering investigation.”

41 responses to “Report: NFL warns teams on striking deals before Tuesday

  1. Then what is the point in allowing talks to happen? The conversations have purpose: To get said player to sign with the team for a specified amount. If the talks progress naturally an agreement is either reached or somebody walks away prior to the agreement. If the NFL is going to allow “legal tampering” then the only thing they can technically prevent is a completed and binding agreement prior to the official signing period. Trying to generate hype for some ridiculous “signing day” concept is absurd.

  2. How can you let them talk terms with each other, and not have an agreement? Whether they announce it or not, its going to happen.

    Looks like the nfl believes ignorance is bliss.

  3. I find this ridiculous. You know that the teams have been talking to the agents who have been talking to the players. Contract parameters have been made. Just have free agency open the day after the Super Bowl.

  4. How does this even work? You negotiate until you get really really close and then run away like a little girl with your hands over your mouth?

    What’s the point of negotiation if you’re forbidding the sides from finding a middle ground?

  5. I don’t understand. You’re not allowed to confirm whether you’re okay with the numbers of a deal or not?

    “Uh, your overall salary figure is very warm as is your year total. But I can neither confirm nor deny whether that’ll do the trick until Tuesday.”

  6. huh? how can the nfl charge a team with tampering when “legal tampering” starts at midnight?

  7. “Any announcement of an agreement or an agreement in principle by a club or another party, including, but not limited to, a certified agent, player, or media organization may subject the New Orleans Saints to a tampering investigation.”

    Fixed it for ya.

  8. What’s the point of the negotiation period if the teams can’t agree to deals?

    As a hypothetical, Mike Wallace “agrees” to a 5-year, $50 million deal with Minnesota.

    If his agent tells no one, maybe the Dolphins continue to try to get him, offering 5 years, $55 million…and maybe Wallace backs out of the agreement with Minnesota. If his agent tells Miami that Wallace has agreed, and to give up trying to get a deal done, what’s to stop them from calling a friendly reporter, exposing Minnesota to a tampering charge?

  9. The key word is “may”. Everybody already knows what tampering is and that anything in the gray area “may” get them in trouble. This memo from the NFL is worthless. Unless a warning or a rule or a reminder has clarity to it, then it doesn’t serve any valid purpose. Plus these parties can choose to share the news after making agreements or agreements in principle so long as they don’t “announce” it. That’s not terribly difficult to sidestep.

    And when is the NFL going to release the memo that discloses how what the “limits” include? Or is it not kosher to take this stuff seriously?

    So tamper all you want everybody, just don’t use the Internet, TV, or radio to blab about it directly and make sure to use an intermediary outside of the undefined limits. Happy weekend dealings!

  10. So according to the memo, teams can agree in principle, but if anyone, even the media, finds out, they’re guilty of tampering?

    What I’m getting from that is that the NFL really just decided to make “It’s OK unless you get caught” a written rule.

    Honestly, what’s the point of all this if teams are not only not allowed to talk about what they’re doing, but also not allowed to actually talk to the players or bring them in for visits? Why not just have a period of time where teams can negotiate normally but agreements are non-binding?

    As it is, is a pointless charade.

  11. The NFL just looks stupid by doing this either make free agency start then or leave it the way it is don’t make a tampering period and say you’ll investigate tampering…

  12. Well, how about Schefter tweeting that Dunta Robinson has agreed to a deal before 11:20pm est on Friday? That means his agents Sports Stars talked to the Chiefs and got a deal agreed upon before they are even suppose to talk. Guess this means Sports Stars is his source and they broke a rule? Guess there is going to be an investigation against the agency now for breaking rules? How does this work?

  13. All bark. No bite. Put your money where your mouth is NFL. That’s all you care about. Money. Right?

  14. This makes zero sense. How exactly do you negotiate if you can’t reach an agreement?

  15. So…it’s legal tampering…unless it’s not.

    This is the NFL equivalent of “pull my finger.”

  16. Apparently, the NFL thinks all of it’s fans are idiots, and that everyone of us believes in the integrity of free agency. I believe in the integrity of free agency about as much as I believe the NFL leadership cares about player safety while I’m watching Thursday night football featuring two teams who played 4 days previously.

  17. Hopefully we’ll get rid of our garbage players…namely Paul Kruger, Dannelle Ellerbe…Cary Williams…and Ed Reed.

    Hope they all sign with Cleveland.

  18. So what’s to stop an executive at Team A (let’s say Washington) from anonymously leaking false tampering allegations against Team B (let’s say the Giants) just to cause them grief?

  19. @ cfbfan2013 – Regarding Dunta Robinson…

    Robinson was cut by Atlanta, not reaching Free Agency via expired contract, so he was free to negotiate and sign with any team as soon as his deal was terminated.

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