It allowed the Jets to pursue pass-rusher Jason Taylor.
Rules for the uncapped season impose free-agency restrictions on the teams that reached the second round of the playoffs and even more constraints on those that played in the conference championship games, which the Jets did.
The "final eight" plan prevents teams from signing an unrestricted free agent until they lose one. Feely was the Jets' first unrestricted free agent to sign elsewhere.
Rules also limit the Jets to how much they can spend on an unrestricted free agent.
They may sign him to a deal that doesn't exceed the contract Feely signed for in first-year compensation. The NFL Players Association lists Feely's base salary at $1 million for the upcoming season, and he reportedly will make a $500,000 roster bonus.
Taylor and Feely were Dolphins teammates during their disastrous one-victory season in 2007.
To clear up misconceptions, the Jets were able to sign running back LaDainian Tomlinson because he wasn't defined as an unrestricted free agent.
An unrestricted free agent is a player with enough accrued experience and whose contract has expired. The San Diego Chargers released Tomlinson with time left on his contract.