NFL Scouting Combine Is Better For Tampering Than It Is For Prospects

By Ben Grimaldi
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is going on right now in Indianapolis, where future NFL prospects are running against air, catching passes against no defender and jumping as high and as far as they can. It’s a huge event in the NFL off-season schedule and teams bring their entire organizations to talk with and evaluate NFL hopefuls.

It’s also a place where agents convene to hype their college prospects but don’t be naive, the agents have a bigger purpose to being in Indianapolis; to talk about the status of their NFL free agents. The Combine has a reputation as a place where teams and agents can sit down and talk about players who are current free agents. It’s masked as teams and agents just talking about re-signing deals with their current teams but everyone knows there is more going on behind the scenes.

How else can you explain that just a few weeks later when free agency opens, teams are able to move quickly in getting deals done with new teams? These contracts usually take a long time to hash out, especially with every little detail that goes into them it’s hard to believe they happen in a span of just a few days, or even hours into free agency. It’s the worst kept secret in football that agents and teams routinely talk about interest and money for free agents at the combine, then spend the next few weeks figuring out how a contract will work out before actually being able to ‘talk’ about a contract.

There is no doubt teams attend the Combine to scout future players, but they also have game film and the school’s Pro Day to evaluate players, so these few days are about more than just the workouts. It’s about touching base with agents and gauging the interest in the free agent market. It’s about players alright, just not as much about the ones on the field as people think.

The NFL off-season is alive and well with the Combine going on in Indianapolis, or as some would like to call it, the ‘tampering season.’

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