NFL free agency gets going next Tuesday, and for the first time, the league is allowing a negotiating period in the days leading up to the official signing period. This will not be a free-for-all however, as one report indicates the league has some specific rules in place. Over at the Boston Globe, Greg Bedard posted a few of the guidelines for the March 9-11 negotiation period.
1. The negotiation period starts at 9:00 p.m. PT on Saturday and ends Tuesday when free agency starts at 1:00 p.m. This period will allow for negotiations, but contracts cannot be executed until Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. This is also when trades become official.
2. Team can only speak with agents during this period. They cannot speak with players. If a player does not have an agent, they will not be able to speak with teams. Apparently Ed Reed does not have an agent, although Ravens writer Aaron Wilson indicated he has business advisors. We'll see if he makes any adjustments to their roles, or if he simply continues trying to work a deal with the Ravens.
3. This period only applies to unrestricted free agents. Restricted free agents and franchise players are not allowed to enter into negotiations with outside teams.