Finally, the NFL lockout is over. Well the CBA has been approved anyway. There’s still the union ratification and other details to work out, but for all intents and purposes the lockout is over. Now the real work begins.
Free agency will descend upon the NFL like the wrath of God and teams will be forced to complete signings, trades, and salary cap obligations in a matter of days. Restricted free agents could begin to be signed by their holding teams as early as later today. Unrestricted free agents can start talking to teams today. Undrafted players and rookies are all up for grabs.
For the next few days the rumors will be coming fast and furious. Believing everything you read on Twitter or Facebook or even in the mainstream press is not a good idea unless you have checked and double checked to make sure it is a reality and not someone’s pipe dream or speculation. There is going to be rumor mongering on a level unprecedented in sports. Unrestricted free agents, undrafted players and rookies are going to be tossed around from team to team to team on Twitter and the like so much it will start to make one seasick.
The teams with the strongest front offices are the teams that will benefit from the fast and furious signing period. Those with clear thinking, reasoned people who can seek out the absolute best deals for their teams and make them in short order. No game playing. No rumor mill fodder. Just get in there, get who they want and get it done. Only teams with front offices capable of doing this will come out on top of this condensed period.
The teams with front offices who cannot do those things will become grist for the rumor mill and in the end they will end up with the leftovers. They won’t improve their teams and in all likelihood will make things worse. It will take strong front office personnel to weather this free agency storm.
The first preseason games of the NFL season are just weeks away. Anyone who thinks those weeks are going to be nice and smooth needs to think again. The waves are just starting and you better hope your favorite team has a boat.