The NFL allowed teams this year the ability to speak with player agents a few days before Free Agency actually begins, so as to prevent illegal tampering. And yesterday afternoon, only hours before the new legal tampering period began, sent a memo to every team telling them they still can't agree to contracts until Tuesday (March 12th) at 4pm ET, either verbally, implicitly, or written.
That means this weekend is likely to be a lot more quiet than the media and fans would have hoped, but we'll keep our ears to the ground just in case. Doug Farrar explains everything HERE.
-- Chicago Bears updates, starting with Sun-Times beat writer Sean Jensen --
At this point, any news on potential offensive linemen via Free Agency or the Draft is good news, so stay tuned for more on that front.
-- UPDATE: Brad Biggs has info that RB Armando Allen has been locked up. --
-- UPDATE: Biggs also has the scoop that six teams have expressed interest in LB Nick Roach. For so many years, the Bears fielded one of the best LB corps in all of football, and now it's suddenly in flux. --
-- UPDATE: Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago reported that the Chicago Bears will not tender RFA Nate Collins, and Brad Biggs asked Collins about his future. In short, Collins will test the market, but open to a return to Chicago. --
Also, some other news from last night and early this morning:
Oh, and did you hear about WR Mike Wallace?
Take this for what it is worth (I see it as solid). Agent just told me he hears Patriots have some interest in Mike Wallace.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) March 9, 2013
Tom Brady probably won't sleep for a couple of days once he hears that.
As mentioned last night, John Clayton said on ESPN that he thinks a deal with Brian Urlacher will get done in coming days, so stay tuned for more on that.
This is your Saturday pre-Free Agency Open Thread... Have fun!