The lockout is over!
Everyone can now exhale knowing that the ritual of heavily drinking, cooking red meats and watching men attempt to kill each other will indeed happen every Sunday.
But don’t expect the NFL to slowly wade back into the everyday operations of the league, no things will happen fast, like extremely fast, like speed of light fast.
Over these past three months, general managers, coaches and owners haven’t just sat around twiddling their thumbs. They have been game planning, watching film and preparing for this day for a while. And now it is time to implement it and it seems as though Panthers GM Marty Hurney is ready according to a story on Yahoo! Sports.
We have spent this time trying to prepare for when this day arrives and now it’s time, Hurney said. There are huge challenges in front of us. And we’ve been preparing for them. Now it’s time to get to work.
However, don’t expect to hear anything official at least until 6 p.m. Friday. That is when team’s can officially sign players to contracts.
But don’t expect teams to be quiet tomorrow. Teams can begin to negotiate deals with the players it drafted in April, as well as attempt to sign any undrafted free agents. So expect the Panthers to be active signing anywhere from 10-15 players that will help it fill the roster out for training camp.
Even though deals can’t be officially signed until Friday, teams and players will come to informal terms during this week. I expect most of the big name free agents to already have decided their fate well before 6 p.m. Friday afternoon. Basically what this lockout has done is condense the free agency period. We are going to shrink the offseason from three months to a matter of weeks. Expect mayhem. One thing is for sure, I do not envy Hurney and the work he is going to have to do over the next few days. It is going to be a frenzy.
And once Friday does roll around, I would be willing to bet that the transaction wire will be full of Panthers news. Hurney and owner Jerry Richardson have stated multiple times over this offseason that the Panthers will be aggressive both in signing their own players and going after other free agents.
Richardson mentioned it later in the article
“First we want to be very aggressive and Marty and his team have a plan and when we get the green light we will be going wide open,” Richardson said. “We’re going to concentrate on our own (free agents) first. (But) we’re going to be aggressive. We are prepared to do what it takes to put the best team together as quickly as we can.”
So my recommendation, everyone just kick back and enjoy the ride. These next few days should be wild and crazy and we will do our best to keep you updated on everything as soon as it happens.