Within 2010 rules, the proposed free agent crop for 2011 is hardly one to get the pulses of NFL general managers racing. The inclusion of fourth-year players would liven things up a bit. But by all accounts 2012 promises a much deeper pool of resources for teams to plunder.
By 2012 a new agreement between the league and its players must surely be in place. As things stand the protracted labor dispute has rendered the 2011 free agency market an afterthought. Assuming a deal can be reached, free agency is set to take one of two different forms.
If 2010 free agency regulations remain in place, players with six or more seasons of pro experience will be deemed eligible. Any new deal could also likely see the league return to 2006-09 stipulations. Under these guidelines players would only need four seasons NFL experience to be granted access to the free agent market.
The lack of a new agreement makes it hard to predict exactly what free agency will look like one year from now. With that in mind parts of this list reflect existing free agency rules and other entries have been made on the assumption that the old system could be back in place.
Here are 8 players who could venture into free agency in 2012. Some are star names whose willingness to audition for other teams would cause a sensation around the league. Others are intriguing prospects whose current situations on their respective teams, mean they may wish to test the market.