Less than a week remains until the start of the legal tampering period for the NFL free agency period, which kicks off at noon New York Time on Monday, March 16. However, the NFLPA threw a wrench into the schedule of things when it took the move to extend the window for players to vote for or against the proposed CBA until midnight Saturday.
Meanwhile, the NFLPA has distributed to players a detailed side-by-side comparison of the 2011 CBA and the proposed CBA they can now vote on until 11:59 p.m. Saturday. https://t.co/vcL726WRnm— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 9, 2020
The vote on the CBA being pushed back is important because of the fact that if the players vote against the proposed agreement, each team will have the ability to use both a franchise tag and a transition tag. However, if the NFLPA members vote to accept the proposal, each team would have only one of the two available. Thus, following the union pushing the deadline to vote back, the league and the union agreed to push the deadline to apply the tag back as well.
That could be significant for teams such as the Seattle Seahawks in their negotiations for any players who could potentially be tag and trade targets, such as Yannick Ngakoue of the Jacksonville Jaguars or Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs. In any case, the new schedule looks like this.
Updated schedule of key NFL dates:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 10, 2020
: Saturday, 11:59 PM EST: Deadline for players to vote on proposed CBA.
: Monday, 11:59 AM EST: Deadline to apply a franchise or transition tag.
: Monday, Noon EST: Legal tampering window opens
: Wednesday, 4 PM EST: Free agency begins
That could potentially make next week a very busy week for the league in terms of news, as teams may be less likely to hand out huge contracts if they are less certain of what the future salary picture looks like. Labor uncertainty could see players find the offers they receive in free agency lower than they had hoped for. In addition, with the league having yet to announce comp picks, it certainly appears as though the formula to be used by the league for the 2020 picks given out depends on whether the proposed CBA, and its revised comp pick formula, are approved.
In short, next week could be very busy, so be sure to stay tuned in to Field Gulls for all the latest news.