NFL: When can teams start trading in 2021?

New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants v Dallas Cowboys
Ross Bennellick

Because of the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic, it took a bit longer than usual to announce the exact date, but the NFL has now stated that free agency will begin on March 17th, 2021.

From this date onwards, NFL teams need to get themselves back under the salary cap and each is free to register new talent to the roster. Of course, all things are subject to change due to the west's ongoing battle with coronavirus, and we've already seen just how much of an impact the pandemic can have on the NFL offseason (anyone else hyped for preseason this year!?) but - fingers crossed - this is how it should all play out:

  • Feb. 23 - March 9: Franchise/Transition Player Designation Period
  • March 17: 2021 league year gets underway/ free agency
  • April 5: Start of offseason for teams that have new head coaches
  • April 19: Start of offseason workouts for teams with returning coaches
  • April 23: Last day of the restricted free agent signing period
  • April 28: Last day to match offer sheets for RFAs
  • April 29 - May 1: the 2021 NFL Draft

All this means, that IF rumors are to be believed and Texans QB, Deshaun Watson does indeed ask for a trade, he will be eligible to link up with his potential new teammates from March 17th, so fans of teams like the Bears, 49ers... and even the Saints (if number 9 opts to retire) might want to get themselves settled in for an interesting NFL offseason.

Who are the top free agents on this year's list?

New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions
New Orleans Saints v Detroit Lions

This looks to be one of the most interesting NFL offseasons ever! There are some NAMES set to be announced to free-agency! I'll leave off for another article to go more in-depth about each player, but the likes of WR Kenny Golladay (Lions), WR Chris Godwin and LB Lavonte David (Buccaneers), QB Dak Prescott (Cowboys), S Anthony Harris (Vikings), T Trent Williams (49ers), and TE Hunter Henry (Chargers) all appear set to test the free-agency waters come the spring.

Which player do you most want to see in your team's colors and why? Let me know in the comments section below:

Edited by Amaar Burton


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