The NFL has reportedly finally conceded the ridiculousness of allowing teams to talk to free agents but not negotiate with them — officially — during the legal tapering window.
In recent years, the league has allowed teams to talk to potential new additions for three days before actual negotiations while making it illegal to talk contract negotiations. It made literally zero sense, especially when considering the way teams and players suddenly had contracts at the ready immediately when the signing period began at the end of those three days.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, things could change in this regard, with the three-day window being cut down to two, during which time real negotiations could occur.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the league will permit real negotiations, and not simply an exchange of concepts or whatever,” Florio writes.
Of course, as noted by the scribe at PFT, there will certainly still be plenty of illegal talks going on before the tampering window. So, while this does at least cut out some of the hypocrisy, the NFL’s pre-free agent signing period will continue to be breeding ground for back-door meetings, hushed phone calls and theoretical contracts.
But at least this is a start at fixing a broken system, and it should make the first two days of “official” free agency a bit more exciting.