The NFL’s ridiculous “legal tampering” window is a construct deeply rooted in naivety. Theoretically, it exists so that free agents can begin negotiations with clubs around the league to suss out their market value prior to the beginning of free agency. In reality, players and agents have been back-channeling with teams for months and already have a good idea of A) their market value and B) who they’d like to sign with well before the window to negotiate opens two days before the start of the new league year. That’s why fully negotiated complex deals are reported within minutes of the opening of “legal tampering”.
Besides this being a ridiculous system that teams don’t really follow, but have to give the appearance of following, it can also open the door for some tricky situations. The contracts that were reported on Monday and Tuesday across the league this are nothing more than non-binding verbal agreements until the player is permitted to sign on the proverbial dotted line starting at 3:00 PM CT on Wednesday. As the Jets found out with Anthony Barr, changes of heart can happen and there is just nothing teams can do about it.