Broken Clouds 46° Good Afternoon
Broken Clouds 46° Good Afternoon

NFL to probe reported free-agent deals

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21)

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) runs the ball in the first half of an NFL game against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 14, 2014 in Seattle. Photo Credit: AP / Elaine Thompson

The NFL is looking into whether some teams entered agreements with 2015 free agents before they were allowed to do so.

The league sent a memo to the 32 clubs reminding them not to reach agreement with or sign any of the 2015 free agents until Tuesday at 4 p.m. EDT. The memo noted a "reported number of agreements."

Among those are big-money deals for Ndamukong Suh with Miami, Jeremy Maclin with Kansas City, and Frank Gore and Byron Maxwell with Philadelphia.

"At this time, the league office is beginning investigations into a number of reported agreements with clubs," the memo said. "Violations will be dealt with accordingly."

Teams were given a three-day window beginning Saturday to meet with representatives of free agents. The league's business year begins Tuesday and players can be signed after 4 p.m. ET. But in the wake of many reported contract agreements, the NFL issued the warning.

During this negotiating period, a team is allowed to submit a written summary of the club's negotiating position to a certified agent. That can include a potential signing bonus; length of the contract; the amounts of the signing bonus and yearly salary. The team also can adjust its position when the agent makes a counter-offer.

The idea behind the three-day negotiating period is to allow conversations between more teams and player agents, and, of course, to gauge a player's value on the open market.

With the salary cap increasing by more than $10 million this year, and with several teams having carry-over money to spend, the competition for free agents has been intense.

New York Sports