At 12 Noon Eastern Time (11 AM Central) on Monday, NFL teams are allowed to begin discussing contract terms with the agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents with the start of the 2016 league year. That time will mark the beginning of what has come to be known as the "Legal Tampering Period", which marks the unofficial start of free agency.
However, you may be wondering just how this negotiation period works.
To put it simply, teams and agents are allowed to contact one another and discuss asking prices, terms, and other contract parameters. Essentially, everything is on the table for discussion, but no agreements may be made until free agency officially begins at 4:00 PM Eastern Time on Wednesday, March 9th. For more details on special situations, click here for a primer from NFL.com.
In the past few years, this negotiating window has led to several big-name free agents signing new contracts almost immediately following the clock striking 4:00. In some cases, finding out the market rate for a player's services leads to a player signing a deal with their old team before the official opening of free agency - that is precisely what happened with Randall Cobb and the Packers a year ago, as he re-signed with Green Bay just hours after the legal tampering period begun.
We have compiled a list of relevant NFL Twitter users who are likely to break any free agency news during this period - stay tuned below and discuss away in the comments.