Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
In North American sports, a free agent is a player whose contract with a team has run out and is now free to sign with another team. The term came into wide use after most player contracts with sports leagues no longer contained a "reserve clause". In some leagues, there is a distinction between an "unrestricted free agent" and a "restricted free agent." A restricted free agent is a player who may be free to sign with another team, but with certain restrictions. Often times the player's current team may have to sign off on the deal, or, more frequently, may have the right to match the terms and conditions of the proposed new contract, or the current team may be entitled to compensation in the form of money or draft picks from the player's new team.
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