May 12 could dust off free-agent market

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Free agency opened two months ago today. In three days, the market could get a kick in the butt. Even if the shelves are largely empty.

May 12 is the date on which free-agent signings don’t count toward the determination of compensatory draft picks. For a team that signs a free agent after May 12, it doesn’t reduce its potential haul of compensatory picks. For a team that loses a free agent after May 12, the move doesn’t increase its compensatory selections.

The formula never applies to players who were released, like former Texans running back Arian Foster. But for quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and defensive end Greg Hardy, for example, signing either or both as of May 12 means that there will be no impact on their news team’s (or teams’) compensatory selections in 2017. And, in turn, there will be no bump for the Jets and/or the Cowboys.

Appearing earlier in the day on PFT Live, Lions G.M. Bob Quinn predicted that there could indeed be some activity later this week — but he added that he doesn’t anticipate the Lions making any moves. Either way, check back on Thursday to see if anything happens.

We hope you’ll check back repeatedly before then. Because we’d prefer not to become free agents the Arian Foster way.