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Complete Listing of 531 NFL Free Agents for 2010.

Byline: Maury Brown

The National Football League today announced that 531 players are free agents who now can negotiate with all 32 clubs.

Six players this year were designated by their clubs as "franchise" players. A franchise player is a special category for restricted and unrestricted free agents. The deadline for making these designations for 2010 was February 25.

There are two types of franchise players. Clubs retain exclusive negotiating rights to an "exclusive" franchise player by committing to a minimum offer of the average of the top five salaries at the player's position for the current year as of April 15, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, or the average of the top five salaries at his position as of the end of last season -- whichever of the three is greater. Other clubs cannot negotiate with exclusive franchise players. Defensive end RICHARD SEYMOUR of the Oakland Raiders was the only player this year that was designated by his club as an exclusive franchise player.

The second type of franchise player is offered a minimum of the average of the top five salaries of last season at his position, or 120 percent of the player's previous year's salary, whichever is greater. This "non-exclusive" franchise player may negotiate with other clubs. His original club may match and retain the player, or receive two first-round draft choices as compensation if it decides not to match a new club's offer.

2010 FRANCHISE PLAYER DESIGNATIONS

Green Bay

Ryan Pickett

DT

New England

Vince Wilfork

DT

Oakland

Richard Seymour**

DE

Pittsburgh

Jeff Reed

K

San Francisco

Aubrayo Franklin

DT

Seattle

Olindo Mare

K

** exclusive franchise player

Each club is permitted one franchise designation in any year of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. A franchise player may sign a multiyear contract with his current club until July 22. After July 22, any contract signed by a franchise player can only be for one year. If he does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season.

A club may designate a transition player in lieu of a franchise player in any year when the franchise designation is available. In the 2010 uncapped year, a club may also designate one additional transition player. A transition player must be offered a minimum of the average of the top 10 salaries of the prior season at the player's position or 120 percent of the player's prior year's salary, whichever is greater. A transition player designation gives the club a first-refusal right to match within seven days an offer sheet given to the player by another club after his contract expires. If the club matches, it retains the player. If it does not match, it receives no draft pick compensation from that club. There are no transition player designations this year.

A club may withdraw a franchise or transition designation and the player then automatically becomes an unrestricted free agent either immediately or when his contract expires. The club cannot name a new franchise or transition player that year.

Unrestricted veteran free agents in the 2010 Final (uncapped) League Year are players who have completed six or more accrued seasons whose contracts have expired. They are free to sign with any club, with no compensation owed to their old club, through July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). At that point, their rights revert to their old club if it made a "tender" offer (110 percent of last year's salary) to the player by June 1. Their old club then has until the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season (November 16) to sign the player. If the player does not sign by November 16, he must sit out the season. If no tender is offered by June 1, the player can be signed by any club at any time throughout the season.

Restricted free agents in the 2010 Final (uncapped) League Year are players who have completed three, four or five accrued seasons and whose contracts have expired. They have received qualifying offers from their old clubs and are free to negotiate with any club until April 15, at which time their rights revert to their original club. If a player accepts an offer from a new club, the old club will have the right to match the offer and retain the player. If the old club elects not to match the offer, it can possibly receive draft-choice compensation depending on the amount of its qualifying offer. If an offer sheet is not executed, and the player receives the June 1 tender from his old club, the player's rights revert exclusively to his old club on June 1.

The signing period for unrestricted free agents began today (March 5) and concludes on July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later). The signing period for restricted free agents also began today but concludes on April 15.

NFL FREE AGENCY MOVEMENT

(Veteran Free Agents Who Signed With New Teams)

Category

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Unrestricted

108

121

171

99

85

110

115

107

Restricted

8

7

6

4

2

4

2

4

Transition

4

4

2

2

2

1

1

0

Franchise

1

0

0

0

0

2

0

0

TOTAL

121

132

179

105

89

117

118

111

Category

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Unrestricted

93

130

111

124

104

149

126

132

128

Restricted

4

1

5

1

3

4

4

3

0

Transition

0

0

1

1

0

1

0

0

0

Franchise

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

TOTAL

97

131

117

126

107

154

130

135

128

SELECT READ MORE TO SEE DETAILS FOR ALL OF THE FREE AGENTS BASED ON 5 DIFFERENT CATEGORIES:
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:National Football League
Author:Brown, Maury
Publication:The Biz of Football
Article Type:List
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 5, 2010
Words:1321
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