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NFL Rules For The 2011 League Year For Free Agents, Rookies

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has posted the first lengthy article on what the time table will be for free agents and rookies after the new CBA is signed. According to Brian's league source, the following rules would apply for the 2011 league year, provided an agreement is signed by 6:00 P.M. ET on Monday, July 25:

  • Tuesday, July 26, 2011, players can return to team facilities. Trades for players can also begin.
  • At 10:00 A.M. ET on Tuesday, teams can sign their 2011 draft picks and undrafted free agent rookies.
  • At 4:01 P.M. ET on Thursday, July 28, teams can cut players (aka, bye-bye Ryan Diem).
  • I'll quote McIntryre here because he provides a very precise outline of free agency: 'At 6pm ET on Friday, July 29, teams can renegotiate contracts for players under contract, sign their own unrestricted free agents, restricted free agents, exclusive rights players, and Franchise players. Teams may also sign unrestricted free agents from other team's and sign or extend offer sheets to other team's restricted free agents and Franchise players, but no payments can be made until after ratification of the collective bargaining agreement.'

More after the jump...

  • Teams will not get a 72 hour grace period to sign their own free agents. The floodgates open Friday for all UFAs.
  • Veteran players signing contracts on or after July 29 will report to their new teams. However, they cannot participate in on-field activities until the 2011 league year begins. They can, however, sit in on meetings.
  • Rookies may participate in on-field activities prior to the start of the league year.
  • Teams like the Colts will have until September 20th to sign a Franchise Tagged player like Peyton Manning to an extension.

Somewhere, Adam Schefter's head is exploding. Schefter reported this morning that teams could sign free agents today. Since then, several non-ESPN sources have refuted those reports.