This is how free agency goes in today’s NFL.
Nothing is official — cough, cough — until 4 p.m. Thursday, but a bunch of top free agents have already been spoken for. Add that group to the group that was never going to be allowed near the market due to the franchise tag or some sort of extension, and a lot of money has already been promised.
About two weeks ago we released the annual PFT Hot 100 Free Agents list. Through tags, new deals and reported verbal agreements, eight of the top 10 won’t hit the market and only seven of 20 are still without something in place around seven hours before free agency officially begins.
Strange things have happened, so the reported deals can’t be counted as fully official until the ink hits the paper. But the spending will continue, and No. 8 on the list, Texans cornerback A.J. Bouye, is expected to sign elsewhere later Thursday for a bunch of money.
Stay tuned. By later this afternoon, a lot more of these players figure to have a new home.