The NFL’s free agent tampering window once crashed my wedding

Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz had a very special guest at his wedding.

Welcome to the NFL legal negotiation window! Teams and agents can finally start discussing upcoming free agents, because we know that never happens before this window opens up.

During this window a player can actually agree to a deal with a team and make it official Wednesday at 4 p.m. The legal tampering period is relatively new and has been cut from three days down to two. This period was added because the NFL knew teams were discussing terms before they were allowed, so they want to make it legal.

So what happens when you combine your wedding day and the opening of the legal tampering period? The most unique story of this negotiation period.

I was playing well in Kansas City when my wife and I scheduled our wedding day for March 8th, 2014. I did look ahead on the calendar and knew free agency would be around that time period, so we didn’t schedule a honeymoon. However, I was unaware, or just not paying attention, to this legal tampering period. The tampering period opened up on March 8th at Noon, which happened to be my wedding day.

My parents threw a morning brunch for out of town guests at their house. It was called for 8 am, and I was there ready to eat all the bagels, lox and white fish I could handle. My agent was also there, but he was more concerned with his phone being charged for 9 a.m. When that time rolled around, his phone started to ring. Eight teams called over the next 30 or so minutes.

My agent turned my parents living room into his work space and we joined him around 9:30 a.m. to discuss the options. It was me, my agent Deryk Gilmore, my dad and my brother. We made a list of the teams, we weighed the pros and cons of every team. For example, a team from California was interested. I told my agent I needed more from them than other teams because of the state tax. But we had our favorite and it was mutual. I wanted to be a New York Giant. After the short discussion, I left the “meeting.” Deryk and I decided I should probably focus on the wedding and I trusted him to handle his work. That was the last we communicated that day until the wedding.

We had a fabulous wedding. It was overlooked the beach right at sunset. Just remarkable. After the wedding we took some photos. After those were finished my first thought was finding Deryk at cocktail hour. We headed upstairs and I found him. He just turned to me and said “we are good.” I knew that meant we got the number we wanted and it was with the Giants.

A few days later I flew to New York and officially became a New York Giant.

I described this and more below in this Periscope. Check it out.

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