What is the NFL legal tampering period, and when does it start in 2022?

The NFL's 52-hour legal tampering period is ready to begin, and PFN has everything you need to know about the pre-free agency negotiations.

With some players on the move via trades, and others re-signing with or being franchise tagged by their respective team, the presses are hot around the NFL. Things are about to become scorching when the NFL’s legal tampering period begins at 12 PM ET on Monday, March 14, 2022. While the new league year and the start of free agency begins at 4 PM ET on March 16, prepare for a 52-hour roller coaster of negotiations between agents and NFL front offices.

What is the NFL’s legal tampering period?

What does “legal tampering” even mean anyway? In 2013, the NFL wanted to stifle pre-free agency tampering between franchises and players. Thus, the league instituted a 52-hour window before free agency where franchises can enter preliminary negotiations with all impending unrestricted free agents. While the phrase is an oxymoron, and enforcement of this timeframe might be relaxed, it is here to stay.

Unless players represent themselves, teams must communicate through a player’s agent. Also, they can only outline the parameters of a potential contract to be signed when the 2022 NFL season begins on March 16. However, teams cannot officially offer a contract, nor can any franchises host free agents for visits.

How long does the legal tampering period last?

The legal tampering period is a smidge over two days long. It gains an extra four hours due to its noon start but 4 PM end. No free agents can sign or agree to a contract before the transition to the new league year at 4 PM on March 16. Once NFL free agency begins, restricted free agents can start negotiating with other franchises.

When does the NFL legal tampering period start in 2022?

NFL clubs can begin talks with the league’s top unrestricted free agents on Monday, March 14 at 12 PM ET. Players such as Patriots CB J.C. Jackson, Rams EDGE Von Miller, Saints OT Terron Armstead, and Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. can generate some buzz from franchises with copious amounts of cap space. This is just a tiny group of the players available, but be sure to check out PFN’s list of 2022 free agents available by position.

Stay tuned to Pro Football Network

PFN is your destination for up to the second news from the moment the NFL’s legal tampering period begins. Be sure to tune into PFN’s Twitch channel at 2 PM ET on weekdays as well. Pro Football Network Daily host Cody Roark shares the latest updates from legal tampering and free agency around the NFL.


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