2020 NFL CBA Explained: Waivers

When a player contract is terminated, he is either free to negotiate and with a team at any time or subject to waivers. When released, a contract for a player with fewer than four credited seasons is subject to waivers at all times. The waiver system allows teams to place a claim on a player... Continue Reading →

The History of NFL Free Agency

Below is a brief history of free agency, and at times the lack thereof, in the NFL. The Reserve Rule (1920-1946) The reserve rule allowed teams with right to resign a player in perpetuity. Players could not move on to another team by choice. Players really had three options: play for the same team, get... Continue Reading →

NFL Free Agency: Transition Tag

The Transition Tender is very similar to the Franchise Tender, albeit at a reduced salary and without drat pick protection. In any given year, the team can use either one or the other on an upcoming free agent. The time frame to use the tender is the same as the franchise tag (Sec. 3, (a),... Continue Reading →

NFL Free Agency: Unrestricted Free Agents

An Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) is a player who has four or more Accrued Seasons and whose contract has expired. UFA’s are free to sign contracts with any team, and any team can sign such player without penalty or restriction (NFL CBA, Art. 9, Sec. 1 (a), 35). Unrestricted free agency is coveted by players... Continue Reading →

NFL Free Agency: Exclusive Rights Free Agents

An Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA) is a player who is no longer under contract with a club but has less than three Accrued Seasons. If the player’s former team offers him a one-year contract for the minimum Active/Inactive Salary (subject to player’s Credited Seasons), the player can only sign a contract with that team.... Continue Reading →

NFL Free Agency: Restricted Free Agents

A Restricted Free Agent (RFA) has only three Accrued Seasons at the expiration of his Player Contract. RFAs are free to sign with any team, but RFAs prior teams have options that can restrict player mobility. There are various tenders (“Qualifying Offers” in the CBA) that a team can offer a player. Each come with... Continue Reading →

NFL CBA Explained: Franchise Tag

Article 10 in the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement covers the use of franchise and transition tags. Both grant each NFL team different abilities to hinder or stop a player from becoming a free agent. The Franchise Tender, affectionately known as the “franchise tag,” is by far the more widely known of the two. The names... Continue Reading →

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