At 11 a.m. CST today, a three-day window for NFL teams to start negotiating with unrestricted free agents begins. Looking for a list of 2014 NFL free agents? Rotoworld has you covered. While teams cannot sign any of those players until Tuesday (March 11th), they can officially start the wooing process today. Naturally, the unofficial slinging of woo started long before today.
If you're looking for a solid FAQ and primer on the free agency rules this year, I give you this link from NFL Communications. With regard to today's festivities, here's the proclamation from on high:
Q. What is permitted during the three-day negotiating period prior to the start of free agency?
A. Beginning at 12:00 noon ET on Saturday, March 8 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 11, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2013 player contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.
During this negotiation period, a prospective unrestricted free agent cannot visit a club (other than the player's current club) at its permanent facility or at any other location, and no direct contact is permitted between the player and any employee or representative of a club (other than the player's current club). If a player is self-represented, clubs are prohibited from discussions with the player during the negotiating period.
Clubs (other than the player's current club) may not discuss or make any travel arrangements with prospective unrestricted free agent players, their certified agents, or anyone else associated with the player until the expiration of those players' 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.
The three-day negotiating period applies only to potential unrestricted free agents; it does not apply to players who are potential Exclusive Rights Players or Restricted Free Agents, or to players who have been designated as Franchise Players or Transition Players.
It follows that there will be a fair amount of chatter today about potential landing spots for free agents (but not Matt Cassel coming to Houston!), so drop any rumors, reports, or what have you in the Comments of this here open thread.