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Free Agency Explained

Posted Jun 22 2012 11:19AM

Free Agent Tracker key

Free agency for the 2012-13 season begins at 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1, 2012.

UFA Unrestricted free agent
RFA Restricted free agent

* Player option
** Team option
*** Early termination option

Free agency terminology

Unrestricted free agent
An unrestricted free agent is free to sign with any team, though some unrestricted free agents have options on their existing contracts that, if exercised, may impact their choices.

• A team option grants the original team the right to keep a player for another year.

•A player option grants the player the power to decide whether to stay for another year or become a completely unrestricted free agent.

(In either case, if the option is refused, the player is completely unrestricted, free to sign with any team.)

• An early termination option gives the player the right to end a signed contract. The option cannot be exercised before the end of the fourth year of an existing contract. If the player declines to exercise the option, he remains with the original team. If the option is exercised, he is free to sign with any team.

Restricted free agent
A restricted free agent can sign an offer sheet with any team, but the player's original team can retain him by matching the terms of that offer. The original team is said to have the "right of first refusal."

>> Return to Free Agent Tracker

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