Two Free Agency Scenarios Are Emerging

NFL players are expected to vote this afternoon on the labor agreement with the owners that will end the NFL lockout. No one is arguing that the deal is basically done and the players are expected to approve the deal at some point on Monday.

There are, however, some disagreements on when and how the league year would start. From what I can tell, there are two free agency scenarios emerging.

The first scenario has teams being able to sign their rookies and undrafted free agents starting on Tuesday. They could begin talking to unrestricted free agents but can't sign them until Friday at 5:00 p.m. (Arrowhead time). Quite a few people are reporting on a timeline similar to this, including the Washington Post, New York Times and FOX Sports.

The second scenario comes from ESPN's Adam Schefter who reports that, starting this afternoon and pending approval from the players, teams can sign their own free agents, and begin talking to other teams' unrestricted free agents. They can start signing unrestricted free agents tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. (Arrowhead time) but those contracts wouldn't take effect until next Tuesday, Aug. 2.

So there's a big difference between those two scenarios. In both of them, teams can start signing their own free agents as soon as this afternoon or starting on Tuesday. But, in the first scenario, full free agency doesn't start until Friday night and, in the second scenario, full free agency starts on Tuesday but contracts don't become official until Aug. 2.

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