In the world of sports, free agency refers to a period of time when players who have completed their contract with a team become eligible to sign with any team in the league. This is an exciting time for players, agents, and fans, as it offers the possibility of big moves and major changes to team rosters. But when exactly does free agency start?
Different sports leagues have different rules regarding free agency, so let’s take a look at a few of the major ones.
NFL Free Agency
In the National Football League (NFL), free agency begins on the Wednesday following the Super Bowl. This is typically in early March. At this time, all players whose contracts have expired become unrestricted free agents and can sign with any team they choose.
NBA Free Agency
In the National Basketball Association (NBA), free agency begins on July 1st at 12:01 AM Eastern Time. This is known as the start of the “Moratorium Period,” during which teams can negotiate with free agents but cannot officially sign them until the moratorium ends on July 6th.
MLB Free Agency
In Major League Baseball (MLB), free agency begins on the day after the World Series ends. At this time, all players who have completed at least six years of service time become free agents and can sign with any team.
NHL Free Agency
In the National Hockey League (NHL), free agency begins on July 1st at 12:00 PM Eastern Time. Like the NBA, there is a “negotiating period” prior to the start of free agency during which teams can speak with free agents but cannot officially sign them until the start of free agency.
Knowing when free agency starts is important for sports fans and analysts alike. It marks the beginning of a period of roster upheaval and the potential for major changes to teams. While the specifics of free agency vary from league to league, it’s always an exciting time for those who love the game.