NFL free agency proves fun time for fans


Image used with permission from Google Commons

NFL free agency period starts the second week of March and allows NFL teams to sign on new players.

The NFL free agency period is a time of great hope and optimism for the fans of the 32 NFL teams. Each year, at a differing date during the second week of March, the NFL “new year” begins, allowing all players whose contracts have expired to choose a new team they want to join via the free agent market. This is a time where some teams get better, while some teams get worse.

This year’s NFL free agent market is filled with the biggest names and brightest stars the NFL has to offer, from two-time Super Bowl champion Von Miller, to up-and-coming players like Juju Smith Schuster and Hasson Reddick, who are looking for new teams to join for the upcoming season. Players on the free agent market get what is known as the “franchise tag,” which is a contract label given to a player who is set to be a free agent to tether him to the team for a year. 

Players like Davantase Adams and Chris Godwin are two of the players who receive the franchise tag. Each team is allowed to allocate a franchise tag to one player, which pays them a one-year contract with a salary in the top 5% of players at their position. The franchise tag blocks the player from reaching free agency, meaning they return to the team they were previously on. The franchise tag is a mechanism to keep good players on your team if you are concerned they will leave via free agency. Sophomore Aryan Thakker, who is a Steelers fan, hopes his team will be aggressive signing players during the free agent market. “I hope we will sign Juju Smith Schuster back while also upgrading our offensive line and our secondary,” Thakker said.

Fans also hope that their favorite team fills positions of need through free agency. While some fan bases get lucky, others do not. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers prefer to build their roster through the draft. These two teams in particular do not spend much money during free agency and prefer to keep their own players and acquire new players during the NFL draft, which takes place at the end of April. For these fan bases, free agency can be frustrating as they watch good players sign with other teams rather than theirs. “It is frustrating at times watching players who would help us sign with other teams rather than us because we like to build our roster through the draft,” Thakker said.