For weeks I've been predicting that a deal would be struck by the NFL prior to apocalyptic damage to training camps and the season, so credit the parties for getting it done with minimum public controversy and disturbance. Now comes the though part: making sense of the most frenetic period of business activity in the history of the NFL.
All the moves coinciding with the opening of training camps can be confusing, so let's add some clarity. Amid the Oklahoma Land Rush and speed-dating chaos, there is a method to the madness.
Normally the action begins in March with the beginning of free agency. Players with four years of experience and expired contracts would be able to sign with any team they choose. They are called unrestricted free agents. Players with less than four years of experience and expired contracts are called restricted free agents.