Playing for $omething extra
Who's got a little extra motivation to play in 2011? Our Dave Richard corrals the guys who are set to be free agents, and therefore might give their all for a big pay day.
The two reasons why men play football professionally are to win a ring and to get rich, and not necessarily in that order.
At the very minimum, a player who plays a full season makes half a million dollars. But that's just the beginning -- the more valuable a team feels someone is, the more someone will get paid when he signs a contract.
Thus, when a player knows that a chance to cash in is just a year away, he will do whatever he can to look good -- and that's exactly what Fantasy owners should want. So we're listing the relevant Fantasy players who, following the 2011 season, will be free agents and in a position to land some guaranteed bucks.
This summer, any player with four or more accrued seasons is a free agent, not like last year when a player needed six seasons to be set free. Any free agent with three years or fewer under his belt is either restricted or an exclusive rights player.
Some additional free-agent notes:
UFA: Unrestricted Free Agent -- A player who can sign anywhere.*
RFA: Restricted Free Agent -- A player who can sign anywhere but original team can match offer or receive compensation from new team. (Compensation will be added upon announcement of team designations.)
EXFA: Exclusive Rights Free Agent -- A player who can only negotiate with current team.
FRAN: Franchised Player -- A player who is guaranteed a one-year deal from his original team relative to highest-paid players at his position. The new team must give two first-round picks as compensation to original team if signed away.
*- released players also have this designation
Got a free agency question, or a Fantasy question? Stop thinking and start typing -- send it to email@example.com. Be sure to put Attn: 2011 Player Movement in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state and we'll respond to as many as e-mails we can.