In case you live under a rock, the start of free agency begins at 3 p.m. CT. The negotiating period has been underway since Saturday, and there’s been plenty of rumblings about who will wind up where.
You won’t be able to escape the start of free agency in the media. ESPN and the NFL Network will have wall-to-wall coverage keeping you up to date on all the comings and goings.
Don’t expect the Packers to get involved in unrestricted free agency, at least right away. But there are a couple players who could be departing Green Bay as early as today. Wide receiver Greg Jennings and linebacker Brad Jones will receive overtures from other NFL teams.
While free agency will get all the attention, it’s also worth noting that a few other items will be starting the the beginning of the new league year at 3 p.m. as well.
The trading period in the NFL officially begins on Tuesday, and the Packers could potentially have interest in dealing tight end Jermichael Finley. There’s no guarantee they’ll strike a deal on the first day of the league year, but it’s a situation worth monitoring as Finley has a $3 million roster bonus due in late March.
The salary cap also goes into effect on Tuesday, in which the Top 51 players count against the cap. The Packers are in no danger of going over the cap, but once they sign quarterback Aaron Rodgers and linebacker Clay Matthews to contract extensions, they’ll be approaching that neighborhood.
Finally, the Packers have until 3 p.m. to submit qualifying offers to their restricted free agents. It’s already been reported that they’ve offered center Evan Dietrich-Smith the original-round tender, and news should surface sometime today about what tender cornerback Sam Shields receives.
Tight end Tom Crabtree and linebackers Rob Francois and Frank Zombo are also restricted free agents, but it looks unlikely that they’ll receive any tender offers.