free agent

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free agent

1. A professional, especially an athlete, who is able to enter a contract with any organization without restrictions. The star quarterback will be a free agent when his contract ends after the season, and everyone expects him to sign with whatever team offers the most money.
2. By extension, a person who has no limitations placed on him or her by others, either professionally or socially. I just broke up with my girlfriend, so I'm a free agent again!
See also: free

free agent

1. A person not under compulsion or constraint, not responsible to any authority for his or her actions. For example, After he quit his job, he decided to pursue the same line of work as a free agent. Originally used to describe a person subject to the philosophic concept of free will (as opposed to determinism), this expression was first recorded in 1662. Later it was extended to mean "someone not under obligation to an authority."
2. A professional athlete who is free to sign a contract with any team. For example, After he was released from the Yankees, he was a free agent and could shop around for the team that offered the most money . [Second half of 1900s]
See also: free
References in classic literature ?
He, too, gave me the impression that he was not a free agent, as we talked I began to see that he was mentally superior to the average of his kind.
But as I was saying, no one to-day is a free agent.
Under an accumulation of staggerers, no man can be considered a free agent.
As he approached quite close to me I obtained an excellent view of him, and though I was later to become better acquainted with his kind, I may say that that single cursory examination of this awful travesty on Nature would have proved quite sufficient to my desires had I been a free agent.
Besides, the missionary's hair-splitting objection had offended him; and, to prove that he was a free agent and a man of honor, he had swung his huge war club over Starhurst's head.
Tomorrow I shall start afresh--today I am a free agent for the first time in my life.
It seemed, to my mind, more natural and more probable to assume that she was not so completely a free agent in this matter as she had herself asserted.
You may not care to please yourself, and you may not care to please him, but you are not a free agent as to pleasing: you are forced to do that, in spite of yourself, my dear; so it may be a question whether you may not as well please yourself too, if you can.
I only wished to see that the boy had come to no harm and was a free agent.
In the deal, first reported by ESPN, Bailey gives the Red Sox a reliable ninth-inning guy to replace the departed Jonathan Papelbon, who signed a $50 million, four-year contract as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies in November.
After all, a player without the potential to change a division to some extent--that is, make his team more likely to win said division--would not be one that commands a multi-year deal as a free agent or a bounty of prospects in a trade.
Signing Thomas as a free agent was considered a risk since the slugger had barely played the past twoseasons because of ankle injuries.
Zito is a free agent and will not be back next year.
Well, the Angels have shown a penchant to be a playoff regular, too, and if Zito signed as a free agent in the offseason, he might have a carpool to join.
And with the acquisition of Finley, the team won't miss the offense it lost when third baseman Troy Glaus became a free agent.