During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 3:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 4:00 p.m., New York time, on March 9.
During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player’s current club.
The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 4:00 p.m., New York time.
The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 4:00 p.m., New York time, and 11:59:59 p.m., New York time, on March 9.
Trading period for 2017 begins at 4:00 p.m., New York time, after expiration of all 2016 contracts.
To help keep athletes safe and performing at their best during the hot summer months, Gatorade has once again joined forces with the NFL to educate athletes, parents and coaches about heat-related illness and the importance of proper hydration and nutrition before, during and after practices and games. As part of the 2011 Beat the Heat program, NFL players, coaches and their families will lead hydration awareness efforts and help raise funds for two organizations dedicated to preventing heat-related illnesses - the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) and the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation (KFMF).
"What athletes, parents and coaches need to know is that heat-related illnesses are largely preventable," said Douglas Casa, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer of KSI, which is housed at the University of Connecticut. "The Beat the Heat program aims to raise awareness about this issue and provide educational resources to optimize the prevention, recognition, and treatment of heat-related illness during the summer practice season."
The ongoing team effort between Gatorade, the NFL and their designated charities is built on communicating heat-illness prevention and treatment techniques. The organizations have collaborated to create and distribute the Gatorade Heat Safety Kit, an educational resource for athletes, parents and coaches which beginning in July can be downloaded at no cost from the NFL's official Web site at www.nfl.com/trainingcamp. For every unique download of the Gatorade Heat Safety Kit, Gatorade will donate $1, up to $20,000, to Beat the Heat charities.
The Korey Stringer Institute is named for the late NFL player Korey Stringer, who died of complications after an exertional heat stroke that occurred during football practice. The institute, created with the support of the NFL and Gatorade, is the result of a collaboration between Casa, a noted exertional heat stroke expert, and Korey's widow, Kelci Stringer. The Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation was founded by Mike and Rhonda Fincher in memory of their son Kendrick, an Arkansas teenage football player who succumbed to complications from heat stroke during the summer of 1995.
"The Beat the Heat program unites a number of outstanding organizations whose goal is to reduce the number of heat-related injuries by engaging parents, coaches and players," said Jennifer Storms, vice president of sports and event marketing for Gatorade. "Our shared commitment is a great way to educate on how to prevent heat related tragedies nationwide."
Research conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) found that as many as 70 percent of high school football players could show up for practice inadequately hydrated. The recommendation of drinking fluids prior to practice increased the number of players appearing to be adequately hydrated upon arrival to practice. Scientific research has shown that dehydration or poor hydration increases the risk for heat illness.
"Heat-related illnesses need to be taken seriously at all levels," said Pepper Burruss, head athletic trainer for the Green Bay Packers. "Dangers caused by overexposure to high temperature and humidity are preventable if coaches and players know the early warning signs and athletes stay cool and hydrated. Simple steps like allowing for acclimatization to temperatures, adjusting the intensity of practice to environmental conditions and keeping the right types of fluids accessible, such as properly formulated sports drinks like Gatorade, can help athletes stay safe on the field and performing at their best."
The Gatorade Heat Safety Kit includes educational resources from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, as well as an explanation about the "4 Downs" of Heat Safety - Prevent, Prepare, Proper Hydration, Plan - which athletes, parents and coaches should consider before engaging in practice or other strenuous physical activity in hot weather.
The Gatorade Heat Safety Kit will be available for download at no cost at www.nfl.com/trainingcamp. And for more information on heat illness prevention, please visit www.nfl.com , http://ksi.uconn.edu/ , www.kendrickfincher.org or www.gatorade.com.
THE "FOUR DOWNS" OF HEAT SAFETY
For more information, please consult www.gssiweb.org
TIPS TO HYDRATE AND FUEL FOR THE FOOTBALL SEASON
Football is a game of strength, speed and skill - all of which can be affected by what, when and how much an athlete eats and drinks. To stay safe on the field and ready to perform, athletes must approach staying properly hydrated and fueled with the same level of intensity they bring to practice and competition. The right sports nutrition and hydration before, during and after activity can play a vital role in helping athletes get the fuel they need to achieve peak performance. These tips will help keep athletes safe and in the game.
For more information, please visit www.gssiweb.org
PREVENTING HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES
Heat Illness and Emergencies
Heat-related illnesses have many factors involved but can be caused when an individual is subjected to extreme temperatures and humidity, and is unable to cool down. Dehydration also can be a factor. Dehydration makes it more difficult for your body to function properly and takes a toll on your performance.
Causes of Heat Emergencies
Primary contributors to heat-related emergencies include:
Warning Signs - What to Look For
Without taking precautionary measures, players might experience a heat-related illness. In some cases, they might be unaware they are experiencing this condition and continue practicing. Coaches should periodically check players during practice or workouts for the acute warning signs of heat illness, which can include:
Types of Heat Illness
What Coaches Should Know
When players are practicing or competing, coaches should follow the following steps to help prevent heat-related illnesses:
Not All Athletes are Alike
Certain types of athletes might be at a higher risk for heat-related illness and should be monitored closely. These types of players include:
These athletes may require special attention by coaches and quick action if any symptom of heat illness is noticed.
Coaches working with kids should know children may be less tolerant of heat stress than adults, and may be at greater risk for heat illness.
Hot Weather Safety Tips
An important step in avoiding heat illness is adjusting practice or game length and intensity to the environmental conditions. Temperature and humidity combine to create conditions that can produce heat illness and dehydration.
Equipment Makes a Difference
When necessary, coaches should instruct players to do the following that can help to evaporate heat from their body: