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NFL Free Agency Rules: No Exclusive Negotiating Period Expected

Currently, NFL players are reviewing a final settlement document that would bring an end not just to the NFL lockout, but usher in a rapid series of events that would serve as a precursor to the start of the 2011 league year. Details are sketchy, and reports are contradicting each other left and right.

One detail that seems to be fairly universal, however, is that the league's owners will not be granted a request to have an exclusive negotiating window with their own team's free agents.

Per pretty much every major journalist or news outlet covering this thing (we'll use Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal for our purposes), all NFL free agents will be operating on the same timeline. Right now, the general consensus is that teams can begin negotiating with players tomorrow (Tuesday), but won't be able to sign them until Friday.

That means for current Buffalo Bills players such as Paul Posluszny and Drayton Florence, who are impending unrestricted free agents, they'll be able to take the next three days to talk to any team in the league showing interest, including the Bills, but won't be able to sign until the end of the week. Please understand that this story is still developing, so things may change.

Also of note: it's expected that the NFL will be publishing a list of all free agents this evening. When that's out, we'll let you know which Bills players are officially restricted and unrestricted.