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2016 NFL Free Agent Tracker: Legal Tampering Is Upon Us

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It ain't illegal if it's permissible, and that's where we are in 2016 NFL free agency today. Find out the rules and talk about the rumors on Battle Red Blog.

Should the Texans tamper with Travis Benjamin?
Should the Texans tamper with Travis Benjamin?
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

Our always handy NFL Calendar says that NFL teams are free to legally tamper with players who will become free agents on Wednesday (March 9th) beginning today (March 7th). What exactly does that mean? PFT explains as follows:

"During the two-day negotiating period, all clubs may negotiate all aspects of an NFL Player Contract with the certified agent of any prospective UFA," explains the March 2 memo to all teams, a copy of which PFT has obtained. "However, a new club may not execute an NFL Player Contract with a prospective UFA until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9, when the player’s 2015 contract expires."

The memo then explains that "the only valid, binding and enforceable employment agreement between an NFL player and an NFL club is an NFL Player Contract that has been fully executed by the parties in compliance with all applicable League rules and the CBA," and that any discussions regarding possible employment or terms of employment "are non-binding and are unenforceable by the player or the club."

The memo next lists specific things that cannot be done. Teams cannot execute an NFL contract, execute an agreement in principle or other similar document, announce that an agreement in principle or other similar agreement has been reached, or reach agreement on any undisclosed terms. Also, teams cannot make travel arrangements with a prospective free agent before the launch of free agency, at 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Violation of the principles set forth in the memo "may be considered conduct detrimental to the League, as well as a violation of the League’s Anti-Tampering Policy." The memo warns that, if an investigation is required, the league would seek all relevant documents from the team under suspicion, including email and phone communications, along with a review of documents regarding travel arrangements for the player.

Clear? Sort of?  Good. Let us turn our attention to those players you wish your Houston Texans to fiddle with.

Malik Jackson? Doug Martin? Matt Forte? Lamar Miller? Chris Ivory? Rishard Matthews? Travis Benjamin? Mohamed Sanu? Marvin Jones? Ladarius Green? Eric Weddle? George Iloka? A quarterback not named Brian Hoyer?  Someone else?

Perhaps today will result in joyous news about the Texans re-signing Brandon Brooks, Ben Jones, and/or another player the team would like to see back next season.

In any event, this is the place for you to post your hopes, dreams, and/or any rumors or news you come across about free agents at the speakeasy of NFL free agency. Have at it.