Free agency doesn’t officially begin until Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET, but the craziness starts Saturday at noon.
That’s when the legal tampering period begins for NFL teams, which can begin contacting the agents of free agents to negotiate contracts. Official agreements and free-agent visits aren’t allowed until the league year begins Tuesday.
Devin McCourty headlines the list of impending New England Patriots free agents whose representatives will begin talking to opposing teams Saturday. That’s when rumors of “interest” will begin and when the Patriots will lose negotiating power, since other teams undoubtedly will be willing to offer the All-Pro safety more money.
The agents of long snapper Danny Aiken; linebackers Akeem Ayers, Chris White and Jonathan Casillas; defensive tackle Alan Branch; guard Dan Connolly and running backs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen also will be allowed to field offers.
Cornerback Darrelle Revis and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork won’t hit free agency until their options officially are declined (Wilfork said Thursday the Patriots decided not to pick up his option). The team could wait until the last minute to release the two All-Pros so they’re on an even playing field Tuesday.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images