Quiet opening to pre-free agency

March, 9, 2013
3/09/13
8:00
AM ET
As we suspected it might, a late tampering warning from the NFL contributed to a quiet first night of the league's three-day free agency "negotiating" window. A number of player agents publicly noted a lack of activity, and there was a minimum of reported interest in pending free agents around the league.

Hill
One of the few: Detroit Lions defensive tackle Sammie Hill has generated interest from four teams, according to Anwar S. Richardson of Mlive.com, but the Lions aren't one of them. For what it's worth, the 2013 draft is said to be deep at defensive tackle.

The lack of news doesn't necessarily mean teams took the night off. As ESPN business analyst Andrew Brandt wrote on Twitter: "NFL sends teams memo regarding pre-free agency period. Translation of memo: "Negotiate away, but please just be quiet about it!"

Indeed, even an unattributed media report of a contract agreement will spur a tampering investigation, according to the NFL.

I'll continue to check in over the course of the weekend, but from the looks of it, the minute-by-minute chaos some of us expected won't happen until the free agent market officially opens Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET. If anything, we could get some news on players re-signing with their own teams after they have a commitment-free time period to gauge their value on the market.

We're also awaiting news on a possible contract extension for Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, which would free up significant salary cap space, as well as some roster maneuvering by the Chicago Bears to add to their current total of about $4 million in cap space.

In the meantime, have a pleasant Saturday morning.

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