I will never forget the manner in which front offices used to be able to hit free agency at exactly midnight, and have complicated deals fully negotiated and signed by 12:01 AM.
Wait...you mean...those deals were technically negotiated illegally...when contact between teams and agents/players was strictly forbidden? I guess it's true what they say about forbidden love.
You know that there is not only the presence of a problem but also the absence of a solution when the decision is made to simply legalize otherwise forbidden behavior.
And so, the NFL begins it's (in)famous legal tampering period. Here was the memo sent around back in 2013, as reported by Albert Breer:
TO: General Managers
Player Personnel Directors
FROM: Commissioner Goodell
DATE: March 8, 2013
SUBJECT: Impermissible Activity During the Three-day Negotiating Period for Unrestricted Free Agents
Clubs were advised in PP-26-13 that during the three-day negotiating period for prospective Unrestricted Free Agents, they are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2012 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 12, and that no contract can be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 12.
Clubs are further advised that prior to the beginning of the new League Year it is impermissible for a club to enter into an agreement of any kind, express or implied, oral or written, or promises, undertakings, representations, commitments, inducements, assurances of intent or understandings of any kind concerning the terms or conditions of employment offered to, or to be offered to, any prospective Unrestricted Free Agent for inclusion in a Player Contract after the 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.
And so I ask you all...with whom should we be tampering with today?