2022 CFL free agent negotiation window opens Sunday, Jan. 30 at noon ET

Photo courtesy: CFL

Prior to the CFL’s free agent market opening on Tuesday, February 8, teams have one week to contact players who have expiring contracts from other franchises.

The negotiating window was introduced in 2020 and it worked well, expediting the process of contracts being signed once free agency officially opened. The league has an extensive list of pending free agents, but a number of the big name players have re-signed with the respective teams.

Here are the parameters of the negotiating window, which is sometimes referred to as the ‘legal tampering period’ behind the scenes.

• Starting on Sunday Jan. 30 at 12 noon eastern time, all pending free agents and/or their CFLPA registered designate(s) may communicate with any CFL club. Each club will receive the updated list of pending free agents at that point, including player contact and agent information.

• Between Jan. 30 at 12 noon ET and Feb. 6 at 12 noon ET, clubs may make a formal offer to a player. Any offer must be registered with the league office and to the CFLPA when making an offer, the club must include the base salary amount as well as any incentives that will be provided to the player.

• If a club submits an offer to a player during the seven-day window, the offer will be considered binding and it cannot be rescinded.

• At 12 noon ET on Feb. 6, the original club shall have an exclusive negotiating period to speak to their pending free agents. For the following 48 hours, no club shall speak to any pending free agent from another team.

• Also, at 12 noon ET on Feb. 6, the league office will provide all clubs with any registered offers for their pending free agents.

• If the current club wishes to make an offer to the player, they must do so before 10 a.m. ET on Feb. 8 and include a copy of the offer to the CFL and the CFLPA.

• Between 10 a.m. and 12 noon ET on Feb. 8, the player may select any offer made to the player by any club. Once an offer has been accepted, the chosen club must notify the CFL, who will in turn, notify all member clubs.

• If no offer is accepted by the player, he will become a free agent on Feb. 8 at 12:01 p.m. ET. Any offers made to the player prior to the point of reaching free agency are deemed to be withdrawn and no longer available for acceptance. After a player reaches free agency, offers no longer need to be provided to the CFL or CFLPA.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.