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It’s 4 PM New York time, do you know where your free agents are?

Seattle Seahawks v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

As the month of May gets started, the 2022 NFL Draft is now in the rear view mirror, and teams across the league are in the midst of their offseason programs. The youngsters added to rosters during the draft and subsequent undrafted free agent frenzy will get their first taste of life in the NFL during rookie minicamps in the upcoming weeks, and as teams get a look at their new youngsters, there is likely to be movement in the free agent market as well.

The initial post-draft free agency acquisitions were leaked Monday morning, when it was reported that the New Orleans Saints are expected to add safety Tyrann Mathieu and the Houston Texans bringing defensive end Rasheem Green, formerly of the Seattle Seahawks.

The uptick in activity is about more than just teams being aware of what holes continue to exist on their roster, however, as a significant factor for several teams is the 4 PM New York time deadline Monday after which players no longer count in comp pick formulas.

For those who want the finer details of the rule, it comes out of Appendix V, Section 1. of the 2020 collective bargaining agreement (Author’s Note: Relevant portion bolded for emphasis):

1. Commencing with 2020 free agency signing period, a Compensatory Free Agent (“CFA”) shall be defined as an Unrestricted Free Agent (“UFA”) who: (i) signed with a new Club during the prior free agency signing period (with the 2020 free agency period being the first such “prior free agency signing period” under this appendix) prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the Monday following the NFL Draft for that League Year or whose rights were retained by the prior Club by sending the player the Unrestricted Free Agent tender prior to such time and date; and (ii) ranked within the top 35% of all League players in accordance with the provisions of Paragraph 2 below. Clubs that lose to other Clubs a greater number of CFAs than they sign or acquire from other Clubs shall be eligible to receive a Compensatory Draft Selection in the College Draft to be held in the following League Year subject to the provisions set forth below.

Basically, what that bolded portion says is that after 4:00 PM New York time Monday, free agent signings no longer factor into the compensatory pick calculations for the comp picks that will be awarded to teams in the 2023 NFL Draft. For those fans curious whether Seattle is in line to be awarded any comp picks in the 2023 draft, that answer is no. In order to be even be eligible for comp picks a team must sign fewer qualifying free agents than they sign, while the Seahawks have signed more qualifying free agents (Uchenna Nwosu, Quinton Jefferson, Austin Blythe and Artie Burns) than they lost (Gerald Everett, D.J. Reed and Jamarco Jones).