Free Agency Term Definitions

Unrestricted Free Agents: Players with four or more years of experience without any restrictions from current team. The players can negotiate with whomever he wants and sign with any team on his own power.

Restricted Free Agents: Players with three years of NFL experience. They are free to negotiate with any team, but the current team can match any offer and retain the player within a seven-day period. If the team declines to match the offer, then the signing team must compensate the old team with draft picks.

Franchise Free Agents: Unrestricted free agents who have been designated as the "Franchise" player. Current team has the right of first refusal on any offer as long as the qualifying salary offer averages the top five players paid at his position. If they choose not to match an offer, then they are given compensation by the signing team.

Transitional Free Agents: Player can negotiate with any club, but the current team retains matching rights if an qualifying offer is made within the average of the top ten players paid at his position. If offer is not matched, no compensation is given.

Exclusive-Rights Free Agents: Players with two or fewer years of experience who have no negotiating power with other teams unless the team fails to tender them a minimum qualifying offer.