My Free Agency by Adam Carriker
Adam Carriker writes his second blog. For give you a little background, after the St. Louis Rams traded Carriker to the Washington in Redskins, he had two years left on his contract. He was a free agent recently, and the Redskins offered him a new contract. He signed a 4-year, $20 million dollar contract. It’s a great read for as it his extremely relevant to his whole free agency process this past season!
I think every player’s free agency experience is probably a little different. There are the highly publicized free agents that know they are going to get paid a lot of money from somebody, and that get all the media attention. A lot of players don’t have that security or comfort of knowing that there is definitely a team out there that is going to want them. They honestly don’t know if they will have a job or not. Their contract is up. There is always a new wave of talent coming in the league and if they didn’t impress somebody, then they will become another ex-NFL player who is now unemployed, and looking for a different line of work.
I was somewhere in between these two groups. I knew without a doubt that somebody was going to want me. I just wasn’t sure who those teams were going to be and what exactly they would offer. I also knew the Redskins wanted me back.
Leading up to free agency people kept asking me if I was nervous, anxious, excited or whatever. Honestly, being a free agent is a rare opportunity to be able to experience and I enjoyed every second of it. Like I said, I knew I was going to end up somewhere. Whether that was east coast, west coast, or mid-west, it was still up in the air, but I definitely enjoyed the process. I’m not going to lie; it is a little nerve-racking not having any idea where in the country you’re going to live.
I will say this; it was not a great year to be free agent. A lot of the players who were free agents last year had to sign quickly after the lock out ended to get into training camp, so most of them signed one-year deals. The players who were free agents this year as well as the players from last year were all free agents at once, creating about twice the competition as usual. I don’t know the exact numbers, but from what I was told the cap number this year is also as low as it’s been in about a decade, limiting the amount of money teams can spend. All that definitely made things a little more interesting. Then, the day before free agency starts, the team I had been playing for, (the Skins) get hit with a major cap penalty, limiting even further the amount of money they can spend.
The day of free agency arrived and I felt the exact same way I did five years ago. The day I was drafted in the 1st round by the St. Louis Rams. I had butterflies, I couldn’t wait, and most of all, I knew this was it! My agent talked back and forth with the Redskins almost the whole morning trying to get something done. Free agency officially started at 4pm Eastern Time. I had not planned my day out very well, because months before I scheduled a general recovery acupuncture session for, you guessed it, 4pm on that very day. To add to my lack of planning ahead, I had also scheduled to talk to a group of underprivileged high school kids at 5:45pm on that same day. I remember my acupuncture started right at 4pm, right when free agency started. We were getting calls and offers as well as the offer from the Skins that we had. So there I am, lying on a table covered head to toe in acupuncture needles, talking to my agent about where my family and myself would be living for the next four to six years. I bet if someone had recorded it, it would have been pretty funny. It was a little after 5PM when we decided to accept the Skins offer. As long as their offer was fair and comparable to other offers, I wanted to stay a Redskin. I immediately called my wife to tell her, mind you, with all the needles still in me. While I’m telling her, I receive a call from a reporter, “Dude, the news broke, your staying a Skin?!” I hadn’t even told my wife, I was still on the phone with her and people on Twitter were already talking about it.
My phone proceeds to blow up with phone calls from reporters, friends, family and the Redskins, trying to get a hold of me to schedule a flight out to DC, so I can sign the contract. But, it was now 5:45PM and I needed to go talk to those kids. Mind you, I love doing things in the community and I’m really glad I went and talked to them. A lot of them were from rough backgrounds, had a rough childhood, and were getting into quite bit of trouble. In retrospect, however, I wish I would have scheduled it at a different time. When I was done talking with them, I looked at my phone and saw that I had about 50 missed calls and texts. Most important of all was the Skins trying to get a hold of me. I finally connected with them and we got everything figured out. To say that my free agency experience was exciting would be quite an understatement. It’s definitely something I will always remember.
Hail To The Redskins!!!