September 25, 2011; New Orleans, LA, USA; Houston Texans linebacker Mario Williams (90) lines up against the New Orleans Saints during the third quarter at the Louisiana Superdome. The Saints defeated the Texans 40-33. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

NFL Free Agency Begins Tonight


Tonight at Midnight Eastern time, doorbells and phones will begin ringing across the nation as NFL Free Agency begins.  Some teams choose to make their pitch in person, often sitting in the players driveway until exactly midnight, and then put on the full court press to sign the player before they can speak with anyone else.  There have been many stories that players tell of coaches and GM’s ringing their bell, confiscating their cell phones, and talking into the early hours of the morning.

Mario Williams is the most coveted of these free agents this season.  The pass rushing linebacker/defensive end who was once the number one pick in the 2006 draft.  Williams will want to explore every option and even give Houston a chance to participate, so I don’t see him going too quickly.  The WR class is very deep and someone will need to accept a deal quickly to set the market.  I expect to see a defensive back be the first signing. Of course Peyton Manning and his decision will effect some teams, and it remains to be seen who he will choose.  This will be a very good few weeks for the NFL, as it stays in the limelight through March and April leading to the Draft.

The salary cap was set this morning at 120.6 million.  This is the most important number to keep in mind when wishing and hoping your team signs a big free agent….Sometimes it’s just not possible.

So, Here it is….Free Agency…..the chance to improve your team, and what every player dreams of in this modern era of sports.  The chance to win the lottery.

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