The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Fix the Rules


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said recently that he wants the league to look at minor tampering infractions in addition to major ones. It's all part of an effort to curtail what essentially has become rampant back-door dealing in courting players leading up to the official start of free agency.

Instead of becoming more punitive, the league would do better to amend its rules to allow teams to pursue impending free agents as soon as the offseason begins.

Whatever the NFL decides, it's imperative to do away with the current regulations because they are far out of line with the rest of society. In just about every other profession, employees are permitted to negotiate with other companies without penalty. There are even headhunting companies devoted solely to such activity.

Why shouldn't free agents be able to speak with other teams as soon as the season ends? If Tennessee, for example, were willing to pay Albert Haynesworth what he was asking, then the Titans would have no reason to worry about other potential suitors.

As it played out, Tennessee declined, so their most consistent playmaker signed with Washington and deep-pocketed owner Daniel Snyder. It's called capitalism. If any league should adopt a laissez-faire attitude in that regard, it's the NFL.

By Gene Wang  |  May 26, 2009; 1:43 PM ET  | Category:  Free Agency , Gene Wang , NFL , Tennessee Titans , Washington Redskins Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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