NFL Health and Safety Update—March 12, 2014

For the complete release, click here

Free Agency Signing Period Begins; 471 Players Become Free Agents

The National Football League today announced that 471 players are free agents who now can negotiate with all 32 clubs.

Players are either “restricted” or “unrestricted” free agents.  Within the categories are also “franchise” and “transition” players.

The time period for free agency signings in 2014:

  • Restricted Free Agents – March 11 to May 2.
  • Unrestricted Free Agents (who have received June 1 tender from prior club) – March 11 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later).
  • Franchise Players – March 11 to November 11, the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season.
  • Transition Players – March 11 to July 22.

For the complete release, click here

2014 NFL Free Agency Questions & Answers

SALARY CAP SET AT $133,000,000

Q.  When does the 2014 free agency signing period begin?

A.  At 4:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 11.

Q.  What is permitted during the three-day negotiating period prior to the start of free agency?

A.  Beginning at 12:00 noon ET on Saturday, March 8 and ending at 3:59:59 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 11, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2013 player contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.  However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.

During this negotiation period, a prospective unrestricted free agent cannot visit a club (other than the player’s current club) at its permanent facility or at any other location, and no direct contact is permitted between the player and any employee or representative of a club (other than the player’s current club).  If a player is self-represented, clubs are prohibited from discussions with the player during the negotiating period.

Clubs (other than the player’s current club) may not discuss or make any travel arrangements with prospective unrestricted free agent players, their certified agents, or anyone else associated with the player until the expiration of those players’ 2013 Player Contracts at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.

The three-day negotiating period applies only to potential unrestricted free agents; it does not apply to players who are potential Exclusive Rights Players or Restricted Free Agents, or to players who have been designated as Franchise Players or Transition Players.

Q.  What are the categories of free agency?

A.  Players are either “Restricted Free Agents” or “Unrestricted Free Agents.”  A Restricted Free Agent may be subject to a qualifying offer.  A Restricted or Unrestricted Free Agent may be designated by his prior club as its Franchise Player or Transition Player.

Q.  What is the time period for free agency signings this year?

A.  For Restricted Free Agents, from March 11 to May 2.  For Unrestricted Free Agents who have received the June 1 tender from their prior club, from March 11 to July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later).  For Franchise Players, from March 11 until the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season, November 11.  For Transition Players, from March 11 until July 22.  If the above-listed players do not sign by November 11, they must sit out the season.

For the complete release, click here

‘Free Agency Frenzy 2014′ — NFL Media Provides Complete Around-the-Clock Free Agency Coverage

Coverage Kicks Off Monday, March 10 at 8:00 PM ET with ‘NFL Total Access: Free Agency Frenzy Preview’

10-Hour Editions of ‘Free Agency Frenzy’ Shows Tuesday, March 11 & Wednesday, March 12 at 10:00 AM ET

Follow All of the Moves & Latest Free Agency News with NFL.com’s Free Agency Tracker

NFL Media is the go-to destination for the most comprehensive coverage and analysis of the 2014 NFL free agency period. With 30 hosts, analysts and reporters providing up-to-the-minute updates on the latest player movement, 24 hours of live free agency coverage over three days and NFL.com’s Free Agency Tracker, NFL Network, NFL.com and NFL Mobile from Verizon have fans covered no matter where they are.

NFL Network’s coverage begins Monday, March 10 at 8:00 PM ET with NFL Total Access: Free Agency Frenzy Preview, and continues Tuesday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 12 with 10-hour editions of Free Agency Frenzy, beginning each day at 10:00 AM ET.

Read more

Statement from NFL-NFLPA on Brandon Browner

The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to conditionally reinstate Brandon Browner from his indefinite suspension under the Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse.  Browner was suspended without pay for the Seattle Seahawks’ final five games of the 2013 season, including the playoffs. His contract with the Seahawks expires at the end of the 2013 League Year on March 11. He will be eligible to sign with a club and participate in offseason and preseason activities.  Should he comply with the terms of the Substance Abuse Policy and Program, he will be fully reinstated after serving a four-game suspension without pay at the start of the 2014 regular season and forfeiting an additional four weeks of pay.

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NFL Health and Safety Update—March 5, 2014

For the complete release, click here.

NFL Retired Player News – March 2014

The NFL League Office stays in regular contact with its former players, passing along vital information via email each month about benefits and services available to them & their families as well as alerting them to where other members of the player alumni community are currently living and working.

The March 2014 edition of NFL Retired Player News included a list of 20 player alumni who have gone on to successful careers on and off the field.

To read the full text of the NFL’s recent letter to former players, please click here

PLAYER CURRENT CAREER POSITION (LOCATION)
LB Doug Allen Professor, School of Labor Studies & Employment Relations, Penn State University (PA)
WR Brian Baschnagel Manager of Marketing Services, North American Corporation of Illinois (IL)
QB Jeff Brohm Head Coach, Western Kentucky University (KY)
QB Jake Delhomme Co-Owner, Set-Hut Thoroughbred Stables (LA); President, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association (LA)
S Pat Eilers Managing Director, Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC (IL)
DE Paul Frase President, Board of Directors, Joshua Frase Foundation (FL)
LB Antonio Goss Assistant Coach, Furman University (SC)
DE Jacob Green Associate Vice President of Major Gifts, Texas A&M University 12th Man Foundation (TX)
S Van Malone Assistant Coach, Oklahoma State University (OK)
QB Cade McNown Vice President, Lourd Capital Management (CA)
C Ken Mendenhall Area Director, Search Ministries (OK)
QB Rick Mirer Founder/Owner, Mirror Wine Company (CA)
QB Neil O’Donnell Regional Sales Representative, FieldTurf (NJ)
LB Antonio Pierce Co-Owner, Englewood Cadillac (NJ)
DT Tracy Rocker Assistant Coach, University of Georgia (GA)
LB Randy Scott Principal – Fellers, Schere, Scott & Robers, Inc. (GA)
RB Emmitt Smith President/CEO, Emmitt Smith Enterprises (TX)
QB B.J. Symons Broker, J.P. Morgan Securities (TX)
QB Casey Weldon Owner, Advanced Drying Services (FL); Vice President, Allstate Construction (FL)
LB Dennis Winston Assistant Coach, Eastern Illinois University (IL)

Franchise and Transition Players Named

Franchise and Transition player designations were announced today for the 2014 NFL free agency signing period, which begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on March 11.

A club can designate one “franchise” player or one “transition” player among its veteran free agents.

The salary offer by a player’s club determines whether the franchise player designation is exclusive or non-exclusive.

An “exclusive” franchise player – not free to sign with another club – is offered the greater of (i) the average of the top five salaries at the player’s position for the current year as of the end of the Restricted Free Agent Signing Period on May 2; or (ii) the amount of the Required Tender for a “non-exclusive” franchise player, as explained below.

Article 10, Section 2(a)(i) of the CBA sets forth the methodology, known as the “Cap Percentage Average,” for calculating the Required Tender for such a player:

The Nonexclusive Franchise Tender shall be a one year NFL Player Contract for (A) the average of the five largest Prior Year Salaries for players at the position . . . at which the Franchise Player participated in the most plays during the prior League Year, which average shall be calculated by: (1) summing the amounts of the Franchise Tags for players at that position for the five preceding League Years; (2) dividing the resulting amount by the sum of the Salary Caps for the five preceding League Years . . . ; and (3) multiplying the resulting percentage by the Salary Cap for the upcoming League Year . . . (the “Cap Percentage Average”) . . . ; or (B) 120% of his Prior Year Salary, whichever is greater . . . .

If a club extends a Required Tender to a non-exclusive franchise player pursuant to this section, the player shall be permitted to negotiate a player contract with any club, except that draft choice compensation of two first round draft selections shall be made in the event he signs with a new club.

The signing period for franchise players begins at 4:00 p.m. (ET) on March 11 and ends on the Tuesday following the 10th week of the season (November 11).

For the complete release, click here

Three NFL Players to Participate in Middle East USO Tour

Three NFL players who excel on the field and in their community are continuing an NFL-USO tradition initiated nearly 50 years ago. These NFL ambassadors are taking part in a week-long tour throughout the Middle East to visit U.S. troops at military bases.

Miami Dolphins kicker BRANDON FIELDS, Washington Redskins wide receiver PIERRE GARÇON and New Orleans Saints tight end JIMMY GRAHAM are the players participating in the tour this year. This trip marks the first NFL-USO tour abroad for all of them.

The NFL and USO have worked together on overseas morale-building visits for 48 years. In 1966, the NFL teamed with the USO and became the first sports organization to send players to Vietnam and other parts of Asia.

Since then, NFL icons including TERRY BRADSHAW, LARRY CSONKA, FRANCO HARRIS, HOWIE LONG, DON MEREDITH, LYNN SWANN and JOHNNY UNITAS have visited troops on NFL-USO tours in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq, Japan, Korea, Kuwait and Somalia. In 2008 Commissioner ROGER GOODELL became the first sports commissioner to visit the troops overseas as part of a USO trip when he toured Iraq and Afghanistan.

NFL players CHAMP BAILEY, D’QWELL JACKSON, DAVIN JOSEPH, VON MILLER, STEVE SMITH and J.J. WATT took part in last year’s USO tour overseas. During the tour, the group visited military bases in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan. They dined with service members, greeted military personnel and signed autographs.

Also last year, former NFL players CHRIS DRAFT, DONNIE EDWARDS, and ERIC METCALF along with former Indianapolis Colts President BILL POLIAN, spent the beginning of July in Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, visiting troops and showing their appreciation to service members.

In the last year, current and former players including PEYTON MANNING, VINCENT JACKSON, AUSTIN COLLIE and MATT LIGHT have participated in USO tours, visiting various locations including Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Djibouti.

For the complete release, click here

NFL Prep 100 Series Presented by Under Armour and National Guard Kicks Off in New Orleans

NFL Legends Including Hall of Famer AENEAS WILLIAMS to Discuss Academics and Athletics With 100 Regional High School Football Players

One hundred high-school football players will participate in the kickoff of the 2014 NFL PREP 100 Series Presented by Under Armour and the National Guard on Saturday, March 1 in New Orleans, LA.

The participants hail mostly from the southern Louisiana region, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Reserve. The Mississippi Gulf Coast also is represented with participants from Ocean Springs and D’Iberville.

PREP 100 is an invitation only one-day seminar designed to enhance the personal and athletic development of high school football players. Participants will engage in focused classroom sessions led by athlete development professionals and NFL Ambassadors, and position-specific on-field training coached by NFL Legends. PREP 100 attendees are selected based on academic performance, athletic involvement, leadership potential, and coach and teacher recommendations.  There will be eight sessions across the country from March through June as part of the 2014 NFL Prep 100 Series.

2014 Pro Football Hall of Famer and New Orleans native AENEAS WILLIAMS will facilitate breakout sessions on building and maintaining strong personal character. On-field sessions will be held at the New Orleans Saints training facility and led by NFL Legends JEFF BLAKE, KHARY CAMPBELL, EDDIE MASON and ANDRE WOODSON among others. Participants also will be educated on key nutrition information by Gatorade and leadership development by the National Guard.

PREP 100 is one of multiple programs offered by NFL Player Engagement through its youth and collegiate outreach arm, NFL PREP.

“The NFL PREP platform provides resources for developing the ‘Total Athlete of Tomorrow,’” said TROY VINCENT, senior vice president of NFL Player Engagement. “Through PREP 100, we’re recognizing the achievements of some very talented student-athletes, and equipping them with the tools to be highly successful both on and off the field.”

About NFL Player Engagement

NFL Player Engagement assists players in reaching their highest potential on and off-the-field with guidance, support, and resources provided before, during, and after their NFL experiences. NFL Player Engagement works with three core audiences: Prep, Life, and Next. NFL Life (current players) and NFL Next (former players) reach more than 2,000 NFL players and spouses each year through a variety of programs and services focused on career development, financial and continuing education, as well as personal, psychological, and physical wellness. NFL Prep provides high-school and college student-athletes of all sports with tools to help them succeed in life, focused on awareness, prevention, and education. More information can be found at http://www.nflplayerengagement.com.