NFL Shortens Legal Tampering Window

WEDNESDAY, 12:38pm: The NFL has officially shortened the legal tampering window prior to free agency from three days to two days, tweets Mark Maske of the Washington Post.

TUESDAY, 12:05pm: At this week’s NFL meetings in Dallas, team owners will vote on whether to shorten the league’s “legal tampering” window during free agency from three days to two days, tweets Ian Rapoport of

The legal tampering period refers to the three days in March when clubs can talk to agents and negotiate possible deals for free agents from other teams, but aren’t yet allowed to officially sign those players. Teams and agents aren’t supposed to discuss specific year and dollar amounts or reach agreements in principle during that legal tampering window, though that rule has generally been ignored in recent years.

In March 2015, Ndamukong Suh‘s massive deal with the Dolphins was one of many instances where the exact terms of a contract agreement were reported during the legal tampering window, well before Suh was officially permitted to put pen to paper for Miami. The league investigated the Dolphins following the free agent period, but no penalties were handed out.

Reducing the legal tampering window from three days to two days could help ensure that fewer deals are agreed upon during that time, saving more of the contract drama for the first few hours and days after free agency officially opens.

Here are a few more items of interest related to this week’s league meetings:

  • Owners will also vote on whether or not teams will be allowed to trade compensatory draft picks, which has been recommended by the competition committee, tweets Rapoport. A November report indicated that this change is likely to be approved.
  • Los Angeles will be a subject of discussion this week, but there are no votes or presentations on L.A. planned for now, tweets Albert Breer of the NFL Network.
  • According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link), the NFL will hold a special owners meeting in January. That may be the time when a vote on Los Angeles relocation takes place, though that’s not set in stone yet.
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One comment on “NFL Shortens Legal Tampering Window

  1. JD396

    Can someone explain to me why there’s even “legal tampering” in the first place? What exactly is wrong with just waiting until free agents actually hit the market?

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