Free Agents Face Chaos:
Our recent celebration of the Fourth of July, Independence Day, brings to mind one of the Marines motto’s: “Improvise, Adapt, Overcome.” Such might be the mantra for the NFL’s free agents and general managers.
Here’s why: Logistically, it will be challenging time for free agents. It fact, those predicting the free agency period are describing it to be a “frenzy” and “chaotic.” Normally free agency begins mid-march, in a ‘Post-Lockout‘ scenario free agency will be pushed to late July. It’s been reported or speculated that the Lockout may end around July 15th and that free agency would begin July 23rd. Keeping in mind the start of the season is scheduled Thursday, September 8th with opening kickoff weekend of Sunday, September 11th, it will prove to be a challenging period.
Think about the logistics for free agents. When a free agent is signed by a new team (in a different City), he will have to relocate, learn the new playbook and in a matter of weeks be ready to play. By the way, pre-season starts in August. How fast will that ‘big name’ player be able to make an immediate impact?
As described by, USA Today, “After already losing months of off-season work to the lockout, a delayed camp means having to learn a lot in a hurry for teams installing new systems or free agents changing teams.”
GM’s In Crunch Time Too:
General Managers are dealing with huge time constraints as well. Teams will “scramble to fill needs in days rather than weeks as in previous years. The pool of unrestricted free agents is about 250, including 100 starters..,” as USA Today points out. One more twist to the story, “Adding to the frenzy would be the wave of players newly eligible for unrestricted free agency instead of restricted free agency (where the current team has the right of first refusal) under the proposed CBA,” as described by Fox Sports.
It should make for an interesting time. Teams will need to sign free agents, rookies, any undrafted free agents, all in a condensed period of time. Further, there is that little item of trading players; another ingredient in a chaotic ‘Post-Lockout‘ span (Twitter will be inundated).
No doubt, general managers and free agents will have to ‘improvise, adapt and overcome.’