The start of NFL free agency is an exciting time for football fans, as it can bring major changes to teams across the league. If you’re wondering when this year’s free agency period starts and what dates to keep in mind, we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know.
When Does NFL Free Agency Start?
The 2022 NFL free agency period is set to begin on Wednesday, March 16th at 4:00 PM ET. This is when teams are officially allowed to begin negotiating with players who are set to become unrestricted free agents.
It’s worth noting that teams are permitted to enter into contract negotiations with players before the start of free agency. However, deals cannot be officially signed until the start of the free agency period.
Important Dates to Know
Here are some other important dates to keep in mind as the free agency period approaches:
- February 22nd – March 1st: Franchise tag designation period. Teams have the option to designate one player as a franchise player or a transition player, which can limit their ability to become free agents.
- March 14th: Deadline for teams to exercise options on players who have option clauses in their contracts.
- March 16th: Start of the NFL league year at 4:00 PM ET. This is when all 2021 player contracts expire, and the 2022 salary cap is set.
- March 16th – 18th: Legal tampering period. During this time, teams can negotiate with agents of players who are set to become free agents.
- March 18th: Free agency officially begins at 4:00 PM ET.
- April 18th: Deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
- April 27th: Deadline for teams to match offer sheets signed by restricted free agents.
- May 6th – 9th: NFL Draft.
During the free agency period, teams have the opportunity to improve their rosters by signing talented players who can help them win games. For fans, it’s an exciting time to see which players will stay with their current teams and which ones will move on to new opportunities.
In conclusion, the 2022 NFL free agency period starts on March 16th at 4:00 PM ET. Be sure to keep these important dates in mind as teams negotiate with players and work to improve their rosters for the upcoming season.