We're mere hours into the three-day negotiating period leading up to free agency, and what was expected to be a wild ride has been anything but. A pull-no-punches memo from the league office apparently did the trick.
The NFL issued communication Friday threatening teams with possible tampering investigations if they entered into agreements with free agents prior to Tuesday's start of the new league year. "Any announcement of an agreement or an agreement in principle by a club or another party, including, but not limited to, a certified agent, player, or media organization may subject the club to a tampering investigation," the memo stated.
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Teams have fallen in line.
ProFootballTalk reports that negotiations are taking place, but clubs are demanding silence. Teams are "scared to death" of potential punishment from the league, according to a source negotiating with multiple teams about a handful of free agents.
Not everyone has kept talks under lock and key. NFL.com's Albert Breer reported the Kansas City Chiefs -- on the heels of landing cornerback Dunta Robinson -- have "shown an interest in (Miami Dolphins cornerback) Sean Smith early on in the contact period." Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald reported "between three and five teams" had targeted Smith in the initial negotiating-period push.
Showing interest in Smith is allowed, per the memo. Entering into an agreement with Smith -- or any of his free-agent peers -- is not. The bottom line is this: We'll have to wait until Tuesday for the dam to break.