With so many agreements in principle reached before those agreements can be signed, the next question becomes whether any of those deals will fall through.
Three years ago, running back Frank Gore had an agreement in principle with the Eagles. He exercised his right to not sign it, joining the Colts instead.
It’s impossible to spot a case of cold feet in advance. But there’s one important factor that could influence whether a couple of these deals ultimately are signed, sealed, delivered: Health.
Twelve years ago, Drew Brees entered free agency with more than 20 studs in his shoulder. In today’s world, maybe the Dolphins and Brees would have agreed to terms subject to a physical. And maybe that agreement in principle would have been a factor in the outcome of the physical.
Or maybe not, and the Dolphins would have backed out of the verbal agreement after doctors looked at the shoulder.
This dynamic is particularly relevant to quarterback Sam Bradford and receiver Allen Robinson. With tentative deals in Arizona and Chicago, respectively, it’s possible that doctors will decide not to recommend consummation if a pre-signing physical is a condition. The question then becomes whether the momentum coming from the expected deal will influence the medical assessment — and, in hindsight, whether a legal tampering window in 2006 and a deal in principle between Brees and the Dolphins would have influenced the outcome of the physical.
Hey, Dolphins fans can dream about what may have been over the last dozen years.
Cardinals fans and Bears fans need to hope that these physicals come back clean. Or, maybe in the case of Cardinals fans, that Bradford’s doesn’t.