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Tampering season already is in full swing

Cleveland Browns v Denver Broncos

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 20: A detail of the NFL logo on painted on the sideline grass as the Cleveland Browns face the Denver Broncos during NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Browns 27-6. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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After years of tampering with looming free agents, the NFL launched a three-day tampering window that opens the Saturday before the launch of free agency.

It hasn’t done anything to reduce the amount of tampering that happens before the window opens.

Per multiple league sources, tampering season already has reached full swing as the league descends on Indianapolis for the Scouting Combine. That’s where every agent will be talking to and meeting with teams about guys about to become free agents, with the league not even bothering to try to catch anyone.

As a result, players evaluating offers from their current teams will know what other teams will pay before rejecting that final offer and hitting the market. That’s the way it’s been for years, and the league only takes action when the tampering becomes blatant and/or reckless.

Regardless, it’s pervasive. The seeds currently are being planted for the deals that we’ll hear about on March 11, once the market officially opens and players start changing teams.

And anyone who complains that they were the victims of tampering will have a hard time saying they weren’t doing a little tampering of their own. Or a lot.