Morning links: Tampering window opens

ESPN NFL Insider Field Yates provides a breakdown of the opening of the league’s "legal tampering window," which begins at noon ET Saturday.

According to the NFL rule crafted last year, teams can contact and enter into negotiations with certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents upon the expiration of their 2013 player contracts at 4 p.m. ET on March 11. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until the beginning of free agency on March 11.

During this negotiation period, unrestricted free agents cannot visit a club (other than the player’s current club) at its permanent facility or at any other location, and no direct contact is permitted between the player and any employee or representative of a club (other than the player’s current club). If a player is self-represented, clubs are prohibited from discussions with the player during the negotiating period.

In this ESPN Insider piece, Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. points to two defensive backs who are moving up the draft board, Washington State University safety Deone Bucannon and Utah State cornerback Nevin Lawson.

Ricky Henne of Chargers.com profiles Notre Dame defensive tackle Louis Nix III, a possible target for San Diego at the end of the first round.

Greg Gabriel of the National Football Post lists Nix as one of five underrated prospects in this year’s draft.

Tom Krasovic of U-T San Diego takes a closer look at another possible target for the Chargers in free agency, Indianapolis running back Donald Brown. Chargers GM Tom Telesco was in Indianapolis when the Colts drafted Brown in the first round of the 2009 draft.

Former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker, writing for Sports Illustrated, has an interesting discussion on grades for offensive linemen and how it affects their value on the free agent market.