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Hints of soft free agent market

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08:04 AM ET 03.08 | You may have heard the Colts made Peyton Manning a free agent on Wednesday, but being a free agent, on the whole, may not be as lucrative this offseason. The word in the agent community is that some fear a "soft free agency market." ... Although this year's free agency period starts March 13th, almost 10 days after it would normally begin, the action/deal-making at the Combine was lackluster at best. The question now: Are these signs that we may experience quieter and more patient market than we have seen in the past? Or, will it be business as usual with an immediate flurry of signings for the top ten to twelve free agents with the second tier following about a week later?

National Football Post

Roger Goodell, Getty Images Roger Goodell, Getty Images
March 8, 2012  08:09 AM ET

If "soft market" means teams won't be overpaying for mediocre free agents, I'm all for it. A hot free agent market favours strong teams with few free agent needs and hurts teams that really need the help. The bidding wars of past years have hurt teams with real needs, forcing them to waste precious money and precious cap space on merely decent players just to fill a hole in their lineup.

March 8, 2012  08:13 AM ET

Don't worry, someone will get overpaid.

March 8, 2012  08:18 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

Don't worry, someone will get overpaid.

According to his agent Cortland Finnegan is on his way to becoming an overpaid free agent.

March 8, 2012  08:22 AM ET

Plax is available to anybody!!!

March 8, 2012  08:23 AM ET

It's always "soft". Every year it's only 2 or 3 FA's that stick out.

March 8, 2012  08:24 AM ET

Any time now the owners that typically spend stupidly will be opening their vaults.

March 8, 2012  08:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

It's always "soft". Every year it's only 2 or 3 FA's that stick out.

Are the Skins gonna grab Flynn?

March 8, 2012  08:41 AM ET

Remember, the cap goes down this year relative to last year. A few teams have cap space to burn, and a few even have to increase their payroll to comply with the new total salary floor in the new CBA.

Overall, though, there is going to be less money available. As much as teams may want to sign a guy, cap space means they just can't open the checkbook like in previous years.

And, the new rules on rookie salaries make draftees more attractive than veterans from a cap space perspective. It costs a lot less now to take a chance on a college kid than to bring in a free agent who may be looking for a Haynesworth-like no-show paycheck.

March 8, 2012  08:42 AM ET

Soft market...did Downy become an official sponsor of the NFL?

March 8, 2012  08:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#9):

Soft market...did Downy become an official sponsor of the NFL?

(Downy, with a hint of Spring apparently-not-so Green fragrance)

March 8, 2012  08:52 AM ET

Now that Snyder has a real GM in DC and behaves himself a little better the market is bound to be softer.

March 8, 2012  09:02 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Now that Snyder has a real GM in DC and behaves himself a little better the market is bound to be softer.

But then Jerry Jones is still out there.

March 8, 2012  09:06 AM ET

last years FA period and the fallout from the labor deal saw a lot of players freed from contracts and sign long term deals...they won't be on the market this season....the change in rookie contracts last season has all of the rookies locked up til 2014...FA is gonna be dead for 2 more offseasons...

March 8, 2012  09:10 AM ET

I would love to see the cap reduced further next year and the years after. The money bandied around is incredible and its time things got put into perspective. I'm sure the agents and the NFLPA are pissed at the cap amount but hey that's life.
Besides the author failed to mention that this is a good draft for offensive, defensive linement, receivers and QB's.
You can get what you want at the store this year without importing a model from overseas.

March 8, 2012  09:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

But then Jerry Jones is still out there.

Yep... And I have a hunch he will be a player.

We need help at OG and there are some good ones available.

March 8, 2012  09:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

I would love to see the cap reduced further next year and the years after. The money bandied around is incredible and its time things got put into perspective. I'm sure the agents and the NFLPA are pissed at the cap amount but hey that's life. Besides the author failed to mention that this is a good draft for offensive, defensive linement, receivers and QB's. You can get what you want at the store this year without importing a model from overseas.

the less money the owners pay the players the more they pocket, who would you rather see get the money, the players or the owners?

March 8, 2012  09:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Yep... And I have a hunch he will be a player. We need help at OG and there are some good ones available.

But defense are where the really big holes are!

March 8, 2012  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#14):

You can get what you want at the store this year without importing a model from overseas.

Speaking of models, Kate Upton is still looking nice and soft up there. On the other hand, I would imagine that there's a large market for her that's not soft at all.

March 8, 2012  09:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#12):

But then Jerry Jones is still out there.

Speaking of spending stupidly, dumping almost $9mill on Spencer is a waste of valuable resources.

 
March 8, 2012  09:24 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

But defense are where the really big holes are!

Draft D...

Fix the O-Line with a 4-5 year guy that knows the ropes. We saw what sticking rookies in there brought.

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