3 Phrases You Are Likely To Hear During NFL Free Agent Season

Posted on: 14 July 2022

NFL teams have a limited number of ways to recruit new talent. A player can be selected during the draft, or signed as a free agent from another team. Free agent deals can be tricky. They involve advanced mathematical calculations and stipulations set forth in the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement.

If you follow the actions of your team during free agent season, you will probably hear commentators using phrases that sound a little foreign. Learn a few of the phrases that are used when discussing free agents so that you can better understand the moves your team is trying to make in the future.

Dead Cap Hit

Each team in the NFL is required to operate within a strict budget. Referred to as a salary cap, this budget prevents any one team from using an excessive salary to attract all the best players. The movement of free agents can impact the salary cap in a number of ways. One of the most confusing for football fans is the dead cap hit.

When you hear sports commentators talking about a free agent being responsible for a dead cap hit, this means that a portion of that player's salary must still be counted against the team's cap after the player uses his free agency status to move to a new team. Dead cap hits can have a significant impact on a team's ability to recruit and retain key players for the following season.

Voidable Years

When an NFL team wants to attract a valuable free agent, they will often employ a tactic referred to as voidable years. The purpose of voidable years is to add time to an incoming player's contract. Void years are added to the back end of the contract so that the salary offered to the free agent can be spread out over a longer period of time.

The benefit of using voidable years is that it reduces the immediate impact an incoming player can have on the team's salary cap, but management must keep in mind the fact that voidable years applied now will result in dead cap hits in the future.

Agreed to Terms

Free agents and NFL teams must often discuss the terms of their partnership before a new contract can be signed. If a meeting between the team's management and the player's agent has occurred, sports commentators will often say that the player has agreed to terms. Keep in mind that this doesn't mean the player's return is guaranteed. Only an official contract signing can keep a free agent on a specific team.

Keep these terms in mind when looking for 2023 NFL free agents from programs near you, such as BSW Inc.