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NFL changes key free agency date

This date change could impact whether or not the 49ers get a comp pick for Michael Crabtree.

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The NFL informed Pro Football Talk that it is moving up an important free agency date, which will impact potential comp picks for the 2016 NFL Draft and beyond. For the 49ers, this could mean Michael Crabtree's departure will not bring a comp pick.

Prior to this year, if an unrestricted free agent was unsigned as of June 1, he would no longer impact the comp pick formula. The NFL is moving that date up from June 1 to May 12. That will be 10 days after the close of the draft, so teams will have some time to sort through their roster and figure out their post-draft needs.

Michael Crabtree remains unsigned, with seemingly few options right now. He met with the Miami Dolphins, and there was a rumor that the San Diego Chargers had some interest (before signing Stevie Johnson). At this point, it is hard to tell when he'll sign anywhere. It is possible it would have gone past the June 1 deadline anyway, but May 12 only makes it more likely he will not net the 49ers a comp pick.

Of course, May 12 is still a month and a half away. It is possible Crabtree finds a situation to his liking and gets a deal done. New coaches get to start their offseason workout programs next week, while returning coaches will have to wait until later this month. The first two weeks of these programs are for strength and conditioning work, as well as rehab work for injured players. This means teams do not have to be in a particularly huge hurry to get a player signed. Obviously there is value to getting it done sooner rather than later, but there is still time.