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When Does NFL Free Agency Start

When Does NFL Free Agency Start?

What Is The NFL?

The NFL or the National Football League is an American professional football league. The NFL is contested among 32 teams, equally divided between the NFC (National Football Conference) and the AFC (American Football Conference).

Fourth among the major North American professional sports leagues the National Football League is also at the summit of professional levels considering American football in the world.

The NFL has an eighteen-week seasonal run starting from early September that ends in late December or early January. All of the 32 participating teams play 17 games each throughout the eighteen weeks and have one bye week to go with it.

As soon as the regular season comes to a close, the seven top teams from each conference go ahead in the tournament and participate in the playoffs. The playoff is a knockout or single-elimination tournament that leads us to the Super Bowl. Four among the seven top teams are division winners whereas the other three are wild card entries.

The much anticipated Super Bowl takes place on the first week of February, usually on a Sunday. The Super Bowl is contested between the champions of both the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC).

The headquarters of the National Football League (NFL) is located in New York City.

History And Rise In Popularity

The National Football League or the NFL was founded or formed in the year 1920 and was initially called the American Professional Football Association or the APFA. The American Professional Football Association was later renamed as the National Football League in the year 1922 before the season started.

In the initial years, the champions of the National Football League were determined by the end-of-season standings. The playoff system was first introduced in the year 1933 and the champions were decided with a finale named the NFL Championship Game. This system to crown the champions was followed till the year 1966.

In 1967, rivals of the National Football League, the American Football League, signed an agreement to merge both the blockbuster tournaments. Thus, the Super Bowl was born. The first Super Bowl was held in the year 1967 and since then it’s played out between two of the best teams from both the leagues (NFL and AFL) to determine the undisputed champion of the American Professional Football.

The National Football League boasts the highest average attendance among all the other professional sports leagues in the world. Its average attendance is 67,159 helping the NFL become the most popular sports league in the United States of America.

The Super Bowl is among the most popular sporting events across the globe. It is also known for being the most-watched television program in the history of the United States in 2015. In terms of revenue generation and valuable teams, the National Football League is the wealthiest professional sports league in the world.

Team Records Since NFL’s Inception

The Green Bay Packers hold the record for the most combined NFL championships with thirteen titles to their name, nine of which were won before the Super Bowl era and the four came after Super Bowls’ arrival.

After the Super Bowl was created, the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers have managed to claim the most number of championship titles. Both of the teams have six titles against their name.

What Is NFL Free Agency?

The National Football League or the NFL divides its free agents into two categories named the restricted free agents and the unrestricted free agents. Free agents who have three accrued seasons and have burnt off their existing contract are called restricted free agents. However, free agents who have four or more accrued seasons and have burnt their existing contract are known as unrestricted free agents.

When a player fails to participate in six or more regular-season games and is added to a club’s active/inactive, injured/reserve, or physically/reserved unable to perform list, the player is said to have an accrued season.

The restricted free agents are allowed to involve in negotiations with other clubs except for their former club. However, the agent’s former club has the power or right to match (RTM) any offer made to that free agent by any other club. In a scenario where the restricted free agents choose not to negotiate with other clubs for future contracts, they are later compensated alongside draft picks.

The unrestricted free agents however are free to sign contracts with any club of their choice. Additionally, no compensation is owed by them after they’ve signed a new contract with another club.

Franchise Tag

Every club is provided with one franchise tag which they can offer to any one of the unrestricted free agents of their choice. The franchise tag is a one-year deal with a player. It pays the player 120 percent of his previous contract or the average amount of the five highest-paid players at his position, whichever amount is greater.

Franchise tags are of two types, exclusive tags, and non-exclusive tags.

Exclusive Franchise Tag

The exclusive tag doesn’t allow the player to negotiate with other clubs once they’ve accepted the franchise tag.

Non-exclusive Franchise Tag

The non-exclusive tag allows the player to negotiate with other clubs even after accepting the franchise tag. However, with the non-exclusive tag, the players also give a right to match opportunity to their former club that the club can exercise to match any offer made to the player. The club also gets the luxury of picking two first-round draft picks if they don’t use the right-to-match option.

Transition Tag

Clubs can also exercise the option of using a transition card. It is exactly like a non-exclusive franchise card but it offers no compensation to the player if the former club doesn’t match their offer. This card is very rarely used.

Salary Cap of all clubs

Each club’s salary cap was set at US $188.2 million for the 2019 NFL season and the US $177 million for the 2018 NFL season.

When Will NFL Free Agency Start For The 2022 Season?

Last year’s Super Bowl is just over and we’re already set for the 2022 season. The 2022 free agency will officially kick off around the same time as all the other previous years around the second or third week of March. This year the NFL free agency is set to start on March 16 at 4 p.m. ET, which also marks the start of a new year in the league.

Around that time, all restricted and unrestricted free agents can make expose themselves to the market and start signing with other teams. Additionally, at 4 p.m. all the teams can make trades as 2021 contracts will expire by that time.

The teams will have one last chance to retain their free agents by utilizing their franchise or transition tags, all before the 4 p.m. deadline come 8th March.

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