Back in the old days of NFL Free Agency (pre-2006 if that can be considered old), June 1st saw another wave of free agent signings by teams trying to spread out their salary cap hits.
But after 2006, the rules changed (again) and teams were able to cut player prior to June 1, but still give them a post-June designation.
A number of years and free agent classes later, teams are once again tuned in to the value they can get for waiting until after June 1 to pick up some of the free agents who become available in March, and ProFootballTalk.com is reporting that this year we may see an actual surge in free agent signings during the month of June.
Per NBC’s Mike Florio in the report:
For veteran free agents who became available on March 11, signing them after June 1 results in no impact on the formula used for determining compensatory draft picks the following year. That applies to both the players’ former team and his new team. The acquisitions don’t count as players lost by the former team, and they don’t count as players gained by the new team.
This year, any players who became free agents on March 11 by the expiration of their prior contract fall into that same category. Some of the available names include defensive tackle Kevin Williams, defensive back Terrell Thomas, running back Ronnie Brown, tight end Jermichael Finley, and tackle Eric Winston.
So if your favorite team didn’t go out and grab the free agent you were hoping for, or didn’t seem to fill a need in their draft picks for this year, it appears there could have been a method to the madness.