Free-Agency Free-for-All Coming

Free-Agency Free-for-All Coming

In a normal offseason, the prime players get signed in the first 10 to 14 days once the free agency begins in early March. Then, the pace of signings slows considerably but continues leading to the start of training camp.

In April, several hundred undrafted rookies are signed within a day or two after the conclusion of the draft. Many are signed mere minutes after draft.

As for the actual drafted players, the vast majority aren't signed until July, with many of the first rounders not inking deals until just before - or even after- the start of camp.

This has been the way of the world in the NFL since the advent of the free agency system in 1993.

But since the lockout began 4½ months ago, no players can be signed, and officially, at least, no negotiations can take place.

Sooner or later, the lockout will end and the NFL Players Association will sign off on a new labor deal. It might happen in a matter of days, and when that happens, five months of player acquisition will be boiled down to a frantic week or two.

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