The NFL season officially starts today at 4 pm ET, which means that the free agent market opens and teams can make their trade deals official. But the NFL is not happy with the 32 teams, in fact they actually sent them all letters telling them to make the trade rumors stop. Why would the NFL be upset that they are dominating the news?
Yes, there is a rule that says that free agency cannot begin until the new season starts. There can be negotiations three days prior to the opening, but that’s all. This is proving to be a problem with social media announcing free agents looking for new teams, when in fact the players are not actually free.
This is the problem, the free agency was created in the 1993 collective bargaining agreement and the system is designed to keep their team together. The reason why the market does not open is so that teams have a chance to have resign their free agents (if they so choose). If they decide to go their separate ways, that is when the three day negotiations can happen between teams and the player. But this past week, social media has been announcing potential deals as if the players had been signed.
Take Frank Gore for example, it was announced that he was leaving the 49ers and signing with the Eagles. Then it was announced yesterday that he was open to other teams like the Colts, which put his name and the NFL back into the news. Fans love the drama of seeing which teams is going to land the high profile free agents.
So the NFL is upset with the teams for this information leaking, and thus dominating the news cycle. Does anyone else see a problem with this? The goal is to always be atop of the news, especially during the off season. Sure, it’s a problem that this information is getting out to the media, but really it’s a good thing.
So really Roger Goodell and company, relax because you’re dominating sports news in a good way instead of the negative press of last year.