1. What players are eligible for unrestricted free agency?
Players who have four accrued seasons are eligible for unrestricted free agency.
2. Does a player’s prior team have any contractual rights over its player who becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA)?
Players who have completed the previous season with a team and are scheduled to become UFAs due to the expiration of their contract may still be tied to their prior team. The prior team has the ability to choose one UFA each off-season and tender or “tag” them with a “franchise tag” or “transition tag” (see Franchise/Transition Tag Q&A).
Teams may also place a qualifying offer (June 1 tender) on a UFA. If a prior team places a June 1 tender on a player by June 1 of that league year and the UFA does not sign a contract with a new team before the later of a) the first day of the first NFL team training camp or b) July 22, the prior team is granted exclusive negotiating rights with the player through the Tuesday following Week 10 of the league year. If the player does not sign with the prior team by the Tuesday following Week 10, the player is ineligible to play for the rest of that season. Following the conclusion of the season, the player again becomes a UFA. However, for this subsequent league year, the player is not subject to the June 1 tender from the prior team.
3. What is the minimum amount of the June 1 tender?
The tender must be at least 110% of a player’s salary for the previous year. If the prior season was played on a rookie contract, the tender is for 110% of the player’s Paragraph 5 Salary. If the previous contract was played on a veteran contract, then the tender is for 110% of the player’s previous total salary. Total salary includes Paragraph 5 Salary, the prorated portion any signing bonus received as part of the contract, and any roster bonus or reporting bonus. It does not include on-field, performance-based incentives.