What is the NFL Legal Tampering Period? – NBC Chicago
What is the NFL Legal Tampering Period? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Welcome to the legal tampering part of NFL free agency.
The term itself may seem contradictory, but legal tampering gives NFL teams the ability to contact unrestricted free agents pending opposing teams who remain under contract until the official end of the league year. Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Expect a free agency frenzy filled with reports of rumored interest and negotiations.
When does the legal tampering period begin?
Teams are strictly prohibited from contacting prospective free agents prior to the legal tampering period. That period began Monday at 12 p.m. ET, making it the unofficial start of free agency.
It gives NFL teams 52 hours to contact prospective free agents and their representatives, negotiate a contract and even reach an agreement.
What happens during the legal tampering period?
Teams can have discussions about the parameters of a potential contract with a pending unrestricted free agent, but they cannot make a formal offer. Restricted free agents are only allowed to trade with the team holding their rights.
Here’s how an NFL described the legal tampering period in a 2013 memo:
“Clubs are further advised that prior to the start of the new League year, a club is prohibited from entering into any agreement of any kind, express or implied, oral or written, or promises, undertakings , representations, undertakings, inducements, assurances of intent or understanding of any kind regarding the terms or conditions of employment being offered or to be offered to any prospective unrestricted free agent for inclusion in a player contract after commencement new league year agreement in principle by a club or other party, including but not limited to an agent, player or certified media, may subject the club to investigation for tampering.”
When can NFL free agents sign a contract?
While prospective free agents can have preliminary negotiations with a new team during the legal tampering period, they cannot officially sign a new contract until Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, when contracts officially end.
Who are the best NFL free agents on the market?
The 2022 free agency headliner is Davante Adams, who is widely expected to return to the Green Bay Packers.
Other high-profile free agents include Saints offensive tackle Terron Armstead, Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin, Rams linebacker Von Miller and Patriots cornerback JC Jackson.
Here’s a ranking of the top 25 free agents in the NFL and a tracker for all free agency updates.