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: agent, 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: agent, free
References in periodicals archive ?
The NBA finally settled in 1976, two years after Robertson retired, eliminating the option clause and creating free agency.
A 1985 article by David Besanko and Daniel Simon addressed the effect of free agency on competitive balance using National League data from 1970-1983 (seven years of pre-free agency [1970-1976] and seven years of post-free agency [1977-1983]).
The era of free agency in MLB began with the Collective Bargaining Agreement of 1976, in which the limits of the "reserve clause," which had previously bound players to teams for perpetuity, were reduced to six years of MLB service.
Another fear is that franchise hopscotch will prompt owners who stay put to seek comparable deals, playing cities like slot machines and launching an economic cost spiral similar to that faced by the owners amid free agency in the '70s and '80s.
The NHL had previously been the only major professional sport that did not have any form of unrestricted free agency.
The last year of the deal is a team option, which means Stephenson will again hit free agency if the team decides not to pick him up on that final year.
Sherrill, George F LHR 10/30/2011 Elect Free Agency under Article XXB
Drew's decision to explore free agency left the Dodgers with a 20- homer, 100-RBI hole in their lineup, one that isn't likely to be filled through free agency given what's left on the market.
As an "unschooling" mom, I found quite useful his analogy of unschooling to free agency.
COACH: With the corporate structure being what it is with free agency and expansion creating uncertainty, will it be possible anymore to build great dynasties like the old Cleveland Browns, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys?
In 1976 this system was replaced by the institution of free agency whereby a player with at least six years of Major League experience acquired the right to sell his services to prospective buyers.
A number of economists have previously addressed the issue of competitive balance in major league baseball, in particular, the effects of the reserve clause and free agency on competitive balance.
Major stumbling blocks to settlement were proposals dealing with free agency (the unrestricted movement of players from one team to another without a penalty to their new team), the length of the contract, a league salary cap, a rookie salary cap, and the number of rounds in the annual college draft.
Thanks to LeBron James finally making and announcing his decision, the free agency dominos are starting to fall.
The following are all 218 American League transactions from the beginning of free agency to today (a separate post for the National League to follow)