New CBA Includes Expanded Rosters, Franchise and Transition Tags, and Free Agent Changes

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that under the proposed CBA, NFL gameday rosters will expand from 45 to 46, with the number three QB no longer inactive.

Beginning this year, teams like the Vikings and Steelers can leave Joe Webb and Dennis Dixon active for more creative play-calling. It’s also a way for rookie QB’s such as the Ravens’ Tyrod Taylor to see the field even if they remain projects as passers.

Another change will be that teams will not be able to use both the franchise tag and the transition tag in a given year. The NFL is simply going back to pre-2010 rules.

The Eagles applied the franchise tag to Michael Vick and the transition tag to David Akers, knowing one of them could be overturned under a new CBA. Vick will stay franchised, leaving Akers as a unrestricted free agent. Rookie Alex Henery is expected to take over as the Eagles’ kicker this season.

The proposed CBA approved by the owners allows for all teams to begin negotiating with restricted, unrestricted, and college free agents this Saturday. As it turns out, that 72-hour window for teams to sign their own free agents won’t include “exclusive” negotiations.

This change, as pointed out by Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk, will go a long way toward eliminating the NFL’s perennial tampering problem. The upshot is that there’s nothing stopping a team like the Broncos or Dolphins from recruiting free agent running back DeAngelo Williams as early as Saturday — as long as the players approve the CBA on Friday. One team cannot sign another team’s free agent before Wednesday, however.

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