What’s wrong with: NFL free agency

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Ndamukong Suh is one player who’s cashed in big time this free agency period./ Jeffrey Beall

Ndamukong Suh is one player who’s cashed in big time this free agency period./ Jeffrey Beall

Free agency is the wildest time in the NFL calendar

Like many people in North America, I spend an insane amount of time paying attention to the NFL, not just during the season, but in the off-season as well. It’s like a full-time job to us diehard fans.

Currently, teams are in the middle of the busiest period in the NFL calendar, free agency, throwing money at anything that walks. It is a fun time in the NFL because so much is happening, and every team in the league is busy making moves trying to improve their team for next season. So, if free agency is so much fun as I claim it is, then what could possibly be wrong with it? Well, it’s the pure ridiculousness that accompanies free agency.

From a purely football related point of view, the contracts that are being thrown around are absolutely ridiculous (still not on baseball’s level, but ridiculous nonetheless), and the money normally ends up being wasted on players that barely have any impact, and never survive the duration of their deals. Take for example Jermey Parnell, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. This man started just five games last year, and only seven in his NFL career, and was rewarded with a five year, $32 million dollar contract. That’s the kind of ridiculous spending that cripples teams for years to come, but no matter how many times it fails, they’re sure to try it again next season.

Moving on to the next problem that I have with NFL free agency: social media. I love my social media; Twitter and Facebook are two great ways of keeping up with these sorts of developments. However, if you want to know just why things are ridiculous on social media, people have begun to take cues on which teams players are following, to claim that they must have signed with said team. Even real reporters are tweeting this kind of information out as if it’s some sort of news, which is incredibly sad to me. It is a sad day when legitimate journalists and reporters are taking cues from Twitter, and the numerous idiots that inhabit the site.

Finally, the part that might piss me off the most, is the fact that the NFL can’t even keep track of when teams are allowed to start talking to free agents, another blunder in the NFL’s cap. At this point, there are probably just too many to count. The NFL had to send a memo to all 32 teams that they aren’t allowed to tamper with free agents before the beginning of free agency, but most teams went ahead and started talking to players, anyway! The worst part about this, the NFL’s official site promoted these developments, despite the fact that there might have been illegal tampering involved, thanks to how quickly some of these deals came together. Forget trying to keep players out of jail, or trying to slow the rate of concussions in the sport, the NFL can’t even get a handle on its own rules, and have managed to make a mockery out of its own events.

So, while I do love perusing sports sites and Twitter for the latest gossip on who is going where, and how much money player X is making, the fact is that free agency has almost become a circus show. Whether it’s the bottom tier teams constantly throwing around money without a care in the world, real reporters basing their reports of off who’s following who, or the NFL itself unsure of how its own rules work, there’s also a lot wrong with this wild period.

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