The NFL legal tampering period is about to begin but what does that mean for the Buffalo Bills?
The official beginning of the NFL year is 4:00 PM EST on Wednesday March 15, 2023. This is when teams can officially sign free agents and make other roster moves for the new year.
Prior to the start of the new league year, there is a 48-hour period of time where teams can contact players who are set to become unrestricted free agents from opposing teams before their current contracts technically expire. Technically, the league refers to this period as the negotiating period for prospective unrestricted free agents, but more commonly (and openly within the NFL) this is called the legal tampering period.
Prior to the legal tampering period, which begins March 13, 2023 teams are prohibited from contacting, recruiting, or negotiating with players under contract with other teams.
During the legal tampering period, teams are allowed to have discussions with agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents. Players however are prohibited from visiting teams other than their current team, or from being in direct contact with opposing teams (all discussions must be through an agent).
While contract terms can be discussed, teams are prohibited from finalizing contracts with players prior to the start of the new league year. Teams, players and agents are also prohibited from officially agreeing to terms or announcing deals during this time.
Despite the language prohibiting deals from being finalized or announced, information rarely remains confidential. Throughout the legal tampering period, there are leaks from NFL insiders, and this time frequently brings a flurry of news and activity which is then confirmed and made official on the first day of the new year.