Ron Schwane-US PRESSWIRE
Tonight is the official start of free agency, but it's the beginning of the first stage of it. The rumors will come out fast and furious now, and you can chat about all of them in the comments of this Open Thread post.
Alright, so here's the deal as I understand it:
- At 9pm Pacific tonight, all NFL teams are allowed to contact the agents of pending Unrestricted Free Agents. Before then, only the team the player was on in 2012 was allowed to speak with the player or their agent.
- NFL teams are not allowed to contact the player directly (which leads to funny side-effect of players that represent themselves not be able to talk with any teams during this period).
- NFL teams are now allowed to offer any contracts to players that were on other teams in 2012 until Tuesday afternoon. This means Louis Vasquez's agent can talk with the other 31 teams at midnight tonight, but the only team allowed to offer Vasquez a contract before Tuesday afternoon is the San Diego Chargers.
This time is basically to help set a market value for a player (like Vasquez) without that team being available to sign with another team (yet). His agent can call the Chargers and inform them of informal offers he's getting from other teams, Tom Telesco can choose to believe him or not believe him and then can make a contract offer accordingly (if he wishes).
Fun, right? Well, the real fun is all the rumor mongering that will come out this weekend and carry through to Tuesday afternoon. These are the 3.5 days that make or break and NFL agent and some NFL General Managers as well. This open thread will be up all weekend for you guys to trade links and discuss all of the rumors that pop up regarding free agency and the Chargers.