When Does Free Agency Start in the NFL for the 2022 Season?

When does free agency start in the NFL for the 2022 season? Here’s everything you need to know about the timeline and key dates.


Start date for free agency in the NFL is March 9, 2022. The 2022 NFL free agency period will begin with the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. EST on Wednesday, March 9.

What is the NFL Free Agency Period?

The NFL free agency period is when NFL teams can begin to negotiate with and sign free agents. The 2022 NFL free agency period will begin on March 9th. teams will have until July 15th to sign their free agents.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Unrestricted free agents (UFA) are free to sign with any team starting at the beginning of the new league year. They can sign for any amount of money, with no draft-pick compensation owed to their former team. To be considered an UFA, a player must have completed four or more accumulated seasons in the NFL, and their contract must have expired. If they have not completed four seasons, they are classified as a restricted free agent (RFA).

In short, UFAs are free to sign wherever they want when their contract expires. If they want to stay with their former team, great. But if they decide to sign elsewhere, their former team has zero say in the matter and will not receive any draft-pick compensation as a result.

Restricted Free Agents

4-6 years of credited service – An RFA is a player with three accrued seasons (six or more regular season games on a club’s active/reserve list) but less than four accrued seasons of free agency credit. A club tenders a qualifying offer to retain the exclusive negotiating rights to the player.

If the player signs the qualifying offer, he remains with his original club for the length of that offer. If he does not sign the qualifying offer, he becomes an Unrestricted Free Agent when his contract expires at 4 p.m., New York time, on the day after the expiration of the League Year in which he would have been an Unrestricted Free Agent (i.e., following his fourth or fifthAccrued Season).

Franchise Tag

In the NFL, the free agency period typically begins in March. During this time, teams are allowed to sign players whose contracts have expired to new deals. However, teams can also opt to use the franchise tag on one player each season. This allows the team to keep the player for another year by offering them a one-year contract worth the average salary of the top five players at their position.

When Does Free Agency Start in the NFL for the 2022 Season?

The NFL free agency period for the 2022 season will begin on March 9. That date is subject to change if the league pushes back the start of the new league year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 free agency period was originally scheduled to begin on March 7, but was pushed back two days due to the pandemic.

Start of the League Year

The date and time for the start of the League Year is set by theNFL. Currently, the League Year begins at 4:00 p.m. ET on the second Tuesday in March. This means that for the 2022 season, free agency will begin on March 14th at 4:00 p.m. ET.

The NFL calendar is always subject to change, so be sure to check back closer to the date for any updates. In the meantime, start preparing your free agent wish list!

Free Agency Negotiations

Free agency in the National Football League officially begins on March 9th, but teams are allowed to start negotiating with potential free agents two days prior on March 7th. However, it’s important to note that any agreements between teams and free agents can’t be made official until March 9th.

The NFL’s free agency period typically lasts around a month and a half, ending around the beginning of May. Teams are allowed to sign their own free agents at any time during the year, but can only sign other team’s free agents starting on March 9th.

During the free agency period, teams can sign unlimited amounts of unrestricted or restricted free agents. Unrestricted free agents are players who have completed four or more years in the NFL and their contracts have expired. Restricted free agents are players who have completed three years in the NFL and their contracts have expired. If a team decides to sign a restricted free agent, they must offer that player a one-year contract at the minimum salary for players with three years of service time ($2.143 million for the 2022 season). The player’s original team then has five days to match the offer and keep him or decide not to match the offer, which would allow him to leave and sign with the other team. If the original team matches the offer, the player is then under contract with that team for one year at the salary specified in the offer sheet.

While there is no limit on how much money teams can spend on signing unrestricted or restricted freeagents, there is a salary cap that all teams must stay under. For example, in 2021the salary cap was set at $198.2 million per team. The salary cap is calculated using different factors such as league revenue, benefits,Comparative Income Replacement (CIR), and updated television contracts. It is importantto note that while there is a salary cap, there is also what is known as theminimum salary floor which all teams must meet each season as well. The minimunsalary floor for 2021 was set at $180 million per team


The NFL’s free agency period for the 2022 season will begin on March 9th. This is a little later than usual, as the league pushed back the start of the new league year by two weeks in order to give teams more time to assess their roster needs. As always, there will be a three-day window for teams to use their franchise or transition tags on players before free agency opens.

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