NFL legal tampering period: What it means for teams, unrestricted free agents

The NFL's “legal tampering” period begins at 11 a.m. CT on Tuesday, a two-day period where teams are allowed to begin negotiations with soon-to-be unrestricted free agents.

Technically, those players are under contract with their respective clubs until 3 p.m. CT on Thursday when the new league year begins. While talks and “all aspects of an NFL player contract" can be worked out during the legal tampering window, a deal cannot be signed or announced until the start of the new league year on Thursday.

Any agreements made during this period are non-binding.

The legal tampering period was cut from three days down to two --- its current duration --- last year and there are still restrictions in place. For example, a player isn’t allowed to visit another team or even be in contact with a team that’s not his own. Only his agents are allowed to be in contact with other teams.

In other words, RB Adrian Peterson can talk to Vikings officials or visit the facility, but only his agent is allowed to talk or visit with any of the other 31 teams until after 3 p.m. CT on Thursday.

Players who represent themselves are shut out until the official start of free agency

The league, as it has done in past years, sent out a memo with the rules and a reminder that teams which violate the legal tampering rules are subject to sanctions, which could include a fine and a loss of draft picks.

USA Today Sports


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