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Free-agent deals aren’t done until they’re done

The horse came out of the gate with a trot on Tuesday. By Wednesday, the old gray mare was more like she used to be.

Free-agency deals in principle are being struck throughout the league, but for any players who become free agents at 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, no deal is done until it is done. And no deal can be done until at or after 4:00 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Until then, any agreement in principle can be scrapped, scuttled, shelved. The team can do it, the player can do it.

Two years ago, a player did it. Running back Frank Gore had an agreement in principle with the Eagles, and then he backed out of it, signing with the Colts instead.

This exception applies only to players who won’t be free agents until Thursday afternoon. For Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, who has re-signed with the team, it’s official. Ditto for receiver Brandon Marshall, who was released by the Jets before signing with the Giants.

For everyone else — from Tony Jefferson to Calais Campbell to Danny Woodhead to Brian Hoyer to Pierre Garςon and beyond — the team or the player can get cold feet and back away, with nothing to stop them other than hard feelings.

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8 Responses to “Free-agent deals aren’t done until they’re done”
  1. uncleb3 says: Mar 8, 2017 11:25 PM

    More often than not? That’s a stretch!

  2. julyeast says: Mar 9, 2017 12:12 AM

    we need to come up with a better term than “legal tampering.” it it is legal it is not tampering.

    Mike – start a contest to rename it please!!

  3. sportswart says: Mar 9, 2017 12:33 AM

    Really talking down to the audience on this one, bro…

  4. dino2997 says: Mar 9, 2017 12:47 AM

    What an arrogant tool. It’s too bad he isn’t returning to the Patriots. He would have fit right in.

  5. helicopterpilot13 says: Mar 9, 2017 1:38 AM

    This post reminds me of the photo Brandon Marshall posted (that was shown on this site) with the caption “Done Deal!” written across the photo. The photo was of Marshall’s signature on his new Giants contract. The only problem was the Giants exec had yet to sign it.
    Never say Done Deal until it’s a done deal.

  6. omeimontis says: Mar 9, 2017 8:29 AM

    It ain’t over till it is over, as Yogi Berra used to say. The Opera is not over until the fat lady sings. The fat lady is clearing her throat right now and she willl start singing at 1pm PST.

  7. 345snarkavenue says: Mar 9, 2017 8:44 AM

    Ha……i’m a Pats fan but not a mass-hole, one of the perks of living in NH (or cow-Hampshire as they used to call it. Curious if they still do).

  8. jgedgar70 says: Mar 9, 2017 8:52 AM

    We all know this. It’s the same in the NBA, but that league, for some reason, makes players wait a whole week. Ask the Mavericks how that DeAndre Jordan deal is working for them. Having a 2-day window seems OK.

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