Following is the answer to a recent question in the NFLlabor.com mailbag. To submit a question, send an email to NFLlabor@nfl.com.
Are “Final Four” teams that have not lost an Unrestricted Free Agent permitted to sign Unrestricted Free Agents from other “Final Four” clubs?
No. The “Final Four” rules specify only the number of Unrestricted Free Agents a team can sign, not what team they come from. “Final Four” clubs can sign UFAs only if they first lose UFAs. For example, the AFC champion Colts can sign the same number of unrestricted free agents as the number of their own unrestricted free agents who first sign with other clubs.
On a related note, signings – with new clubs and original teams combined – of Unrestricted Free Agents with at least six accrued seasons are at their highest point in the five years since the current CBA extension in 2006 (chart below).
UFAs with 6+ Accrued Seasons Signed, First 12 Days of Free Agency
2010 – 64
2009 – 51
2008 – 44
2007 – 55
2006 – 50