When can NFL players who are cut sign with new teams?

When can NFL players who are cut sign with new teams? The answer to that question isn't what you might think.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is tackled by Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer (21)
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) is tackled by Buffalo Bills safety Jordan Poyer (21) / Jamie Germano/Rochester Democrat and
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On Wednesday, the Buffalo Bills did some major housecleaning in an attempt to escape from salary cap hell. The defending AFC East champions parted ways with strong safety Jordan Poyer, running back/kick returner Nyheim Hines, center Mitch Morse and wide receiver Deonte Hardy. They also designated cornerback CB Tre’Davious White a post-June 1st cut.

General manager Brandon Beane also made a few other moves to reduce that cap number. In the meantime, the Bills brought back quarterback Mitch Trubisky. The second-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears spent 2021 in Orchard Park as a backup, seeing action in six games. Trubisky spent the past two seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was released by the franchise last month.

When can NFL players who are cut sign with new teams?

What does all this mean? The Bills were able to make a deal with Trubisky now, even though the 2024 NFL fiscal year begins at 4:00 pm ET on March 13. This is even in advance of the “legal tampering” period, which begins at noon ET on March 11. All 32 teams can begin negotiations with potential unrestricted free agents at that time, although those deals won’t become official until two days later at 4:00 pm ET.

Here’s the bottom line. There’s a big difference between the termination of a player’s contract and the expiration of one. The numerous players that will hit the open market are in the final year of their current deal, and they expire next week. Players like Trubisky, who was cut by the Steelers with one year left on his current contract, are available immediately.

Along with Poyer, Hines, and Morse, etc., there are others who have been released by clubs that can find new homes immediately. Tight end Jonnu Smith was cut loose by the Atlanta Falcons recently, and the Miami Dolphins have reportedly begun negotiations with the seven-year pro (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter).

Other big names available to be signed immediately are cornerbacks J.C. Jackson (Patriots), tight end Logan Thomas (Commanders) and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Chiefs). Talk about the safety market? There’s the Seahawks’ tandem of Jamal Adams and Quandre Diggs, as well as Kevin Byard (Eagles), Eddie Jackson (Bears), Justin Simmons (Broncos) and Tracy Walker (Lions).

The “street free agent” market is already in full swing.

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