Only in the NFL is June 1 not actually on June 1. On paper, June 1 plays a huge role for teams as they plan their futures and plot their roster moves. It serves as a line of demarcation for salary-cap purposes as players are cut and traded. It also mostly locks in the compensatory draft pick formula for each organization, allowing teams to sign players without having to worry about canceling out one of the picks they earned for losing a free agent.
But in the NFL's reality, June 1 came on May 3, if not earlier. Heading into the NFL offseason, each team is allowed to designate two players as post-June 1 releases. On May 3, the league announced to teams that they were able to process signings and other roster decisions as if they were post-June 1 moves. What amounted to an accounting decision spurred several signings and will result in a handful more in the weeks to come.
Let's get into how the June 1 deadline works for NFL teams, give a couple of examples of how it influenced decision-making over the past few months and then explore what happens next. Now that teams are on the other side of May 3, what sort of signings are more likely to happen? And more interestingly, perhaps, are there potential trades that make sense?