Thursday, January 4, 2007

Free Agency part 2...

There are 2 types of free agents. Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA) and a Restricted Free Agent (RFA). UFA = "[a] player [that] shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any Club, and any Club shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with such player, without penalty or restriction, including, but not limited to, Draft Choice Compensation between Clubs or First Refusal Rights of any kind." A UFA can sign with any team for any amount of money without that team having to give the original team any compensation. When a player with five or more accrued seasons (or with four or more accrued seasons in any Capped Year) reaches the end of his player contract, he becomes an UFA.

A RFA is "any Veteran player with three or more accrued seasons, but less than five accrued seasons (or less than four accrued seasons in any capped year)... At the expiration of his last Player Contract during such period... [the player] shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any club, and any club shall be completely free to negotiate and sign a Player Contract with any such player, subject to... certain restrictions." The restrictions are the fun part.

There is one other kind of free agent, which isn't really very "free" at all. That is the Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA). Such a player has no more than two accrued seasons in the NFL and may only sign with his prior team, provided, of course, that the team extends a minimum qualifying offer to the player.

Even with all those free agency options teams still have two options to help them in securing their free agents the Franchise Tag and the Transition Tag. Any team can designate any one of their RFA or UFA a franchise player. That means that player is only allowed to deal with his current team. The team must tender the player at least a one year contract that is the minimum of the average of the five largest salaries (as of April 15) for players at the position at which he played the most games during the prior year, or 120% of his prior year salary, whichever is greater.

Tomorrow we will sum up transition tags and free agents as a whole. I will leave you with today's quote from Winston Churchill

"Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm"

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