Many expect that after two years of abnormal free agency periods (eligibility changes in 2010, lockout last year), that NFL teams will come out with guns blazing with their checkbooks at the ready. However, NFL agents believe that may not be the case.
Jack Bechta, an agent who also contributes to the National Football Post, wrote, “The workd in the agent community is that some fear a ‘soft free agency market.’”
Apparently there was less tampering discussion between agents and teams at the combine than has been the norm in past years. That may have been due to the fact that free agency starts later than is has in the past this year, almost three weeks after the start of the combine.
Still, Bechta says, “The evidence to date says we may see less money spent this year than what we are used to seeing in the past.”
Among the reasons cited for the potentially soft market are the failures of the Eagles in 2011 and Redskins for the past decade or so to translate free agency success to wins on the field, the lack of a minimum spending floor this year, and the large number of franchise tags handed out.
Bechta’s favorite theory:
All the NFL cap guys saw the movie Moneyball, and now think it’s their chance to speak up and make a big impact on the team (and impress their owners). This movie was their Jerry Maguire and their Top Gun. So maybe they are flexing their muscle trying to make their mark. One NFC team actually just hired an executive from the Oakland A’s organization that was a part of Billy Bean’s Moneyball team.
It should be noted that the A’s teams run by Bean did not win a World Series or even play in one.