What Does Free Agency Mean In The NFL?

Posted on: 13 July 2022

When a player joins a football team, they sign a contract that ties them to the team for a certain amount of time at a certain amount of compensation. When the contract nears its end date, the player and the team can negotiate for a new contract, the team can release the player, or the player can become a free agent.

Free Agent

In the NFL, a free agent is a player that doesn't have a contract with any team. That frees players from negotiating with any team they are interested in playing for. The player ends up with many advantages to becoming a free agent. 

Better Fitting Team

Not all players are going to be a fit for all teams. Whether it is because a player's style doesn't match the way the team plays or there are just interpersonal stresses, a player may not feel like their current team just doesn't fit them well. But, if they become a free agent, the player is welcome to talk to other teams to see how they will work. It will also allow the player to follow former teammates that they played well with before. The two players may have had contracts that ended at different times, which could mean that one player left the original team first, leaving their teammate behind until their contract ran out as well. 

Better Contract Terms

If the player has had a good season and the team is coming off a good season, then the player is in a position of power. That power and being a free agent can combine to help the player get a better contract than they might otherwise have been able to get. Their home team may be desperate to keep them, while other teams may be just as eager for the player to come to play for them. The player can set the teams in a bidding war against each other and dictate what terms they really want to have in their contract. Those terms could be a short contract term, bonuses for each post-season game, or a higher base salary. 

Free agency can be a good choice for an NFL player. They can realize many advantages when they become free agents, and a smart player will be able to turn all those advantages into a good contract for them for the next part of their football career, and for the years after they are done playing.

Reach out to a company like BSW Inc. to learn more.