Under the new CBA, Tuesday could be a big day for the Redskins. Here’s a rundown of what happens today, with a little help from the NFL:
1. Players report to team facilities:
Think of it like the prodigal son returning home, except that there are dozens of them. The players are happy to be back and everyone here is happy to see them. Everyone is euphoric about the labor resolution, which makes Tuesday a honeymoon day for everyone involved.
Once they get out in the heat for three weeks, the honeymoon may be over.
2. Sign undrafted free agents:
As of about dinner time on Monday night, the feeding frenzy that is signing undrafted free agents began. Under the new conditions of the CBA, teams will be restricted on how much money can be given to rookies, and this includes those that went undrafted. Teams will be allowed to have 90 players on the roster when training camp opens, and as of Monday morning the roster sat at 88 players. Once the Redskins finalize those deals, they’ll be announced on here. Dozens of moves will be made before training camp, which leads me to…
3. Negotiate with unrestricted free agents:
For the first time in free agency, there will not be a window through which teams are allowed to negotiate exclusively with their own unrestricted free agents. In that past, this has led to rampant tampering, so this move appears to fall under “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” However, this distinction was likely eliminated this year because of the compressed offseason timeline. Players need to sign with teams and figure out where they’re headed for training camp, so the faster that deals can be made, the better.
Teams will be negotiating with all players on an open market, which means that most top-tier free agents will be winners while others will be shuffled back and forgotten. Teams cannot actually sign free agents as of today, so there is time for the market to develop before signings begin on Friday.
4. Trade players:
Trades in the NFL are traditionally not as common as other sports, and I would expect no differently this year. The Redskins will certainly have some players that they’re interested in, and also some that they would like to get rid of. Whether two teams can agree on a player or picks will be the determining factor.
However, there’s added incentive for teams NOT to move a player this year, given that there’s limited time to learn a new playbook. Especially with the renowned complexity of the Shanahan playbooks, the Redskins might get the best value for a player if they trade for draft picks and invest in the future.
Today is the first full day of the league year and will go a long way to determining the outlook of the Redskins season.
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