4 Types Of Free Agents In The NFL Today

American football is an extremely popular sport for spectators across the country. Anyone who wants to watch an elite football performance must turn on an NFL game. The NFL is the ultimate destination for the most talented football players from around the country.

In order to better appreciate the management and composition of your favorite NFL team, you need to have a basic understanding of the contracts that apply to each of your favorite players.

Multiple terms are used when talking about NFL players, and the term "free agent" is one that you will hear quite often in any broadcast providing commentary on NFL games. You may have heard about free agents many times, but do you really know how free agency in the NFL works? Learn more about the various types of free agents in the NFL so that you will be better prepared to understand the personnel changes that affect your favorite team in the future.

1. Exclusive-Rights Free Agent

A player's free agency status is typically determined by calculating the number of full seasons that player has been included on an NFL roster. The NFL defines a credited season as being on the active, inactive, injured reserve, or physically unable to perform roster list for three or more games. These games can be either regular or post-season games.

If a player has two or fewer credited seasons and their contract expires, they must either accept their current team's qualifying offer or sit out the following season. In the event that an exclusive-rights free agent does not receive a qualifying offer from his team, he is free to solicit offers from other teams within the league.

2. Restricted Free Agent

A restricted free agent is a player with three or more credited seasons. These types of free agents are able to solicit offers from other teams when their current contract expires. The catch is that all offers must be received before a certain deadline that is designated by the NFL each season. The reason for this negotiating deadline is that restricted free agents still owe the first right-of-refusal to their current team.

Any offer that is received by a restricted free agent before the deadline can be matched by the current team. If the current team doesn't want to extend a matching offer to the player, the team will receive a draft-choice compensation based on the deal negotiated between the new team and the restricted free agent.

3. Unrestricted Free Agents

Once a player has accrued four or more credited seasons in the NFL, they are considered an unrestricted free agent when their existing contract expires. Unrestricted free agents are able to negotiate with any team in the league freely, and they do not have to give their current team the opportunity to extend a matching offer. Unrestricted free agents don't have to adhere to strict deadlines when determining which offer they want to accept for the following season.

4. Undrafted Free Agents

Each year the NFL identifies the top college football players from across the nation. These players are made eligible for a draft, which is a type of lottery giving NFL teams the ability to acquire new talent.

In the event that a player is eligible for the NFL draft but is not selected during any of the draft rounds, that player becomes an undrafted free agent. Undrafted free agents are able to negotiate with any team and accept any offer they receive.

Free agency status within the NFL can be complex and difficult for fans to understand. By learning about each of the four types of free agents within the league today, you will be able to better understand the management decisions made by your favorite team. Contact a company like BSW Inc. to learn more about 2022 NFL free agents.