Free Agency and the Draft with no CBA, a breakdown.

For those of you who are undoubtedly confused, angry, frustrated, and hurt over this stupid CBA problem we have in our beloved sport,  here's some relief. Now I'm not going to talk about whos right and wrong and what needs to happen. That can be done in another poast. I'm simply going to talk about some of the functional aspects. Such as Free Agency and the draft. There are some really interesting rules so we have to see whats up here


NOTE: I've edited a bit more, as there is actually some mixed signals for compensatory picks and to further elaborate on the Final 8 rule. Just felt like keeping the poast well-poasted.

Free Agency:


First of all Free Agency is set to start on March 3rd. Only there isn't really a CBA at the moment. And thats not advancing much either. Here are some points to consider:


  • You can't sign anybody without a CBA. This is kinda clear cut but it bears noting. This is kinda the rule #1 in respect to the FA time of year.
  • You can resign your own players, or tag them (note two transition tags exist at the moment), but again you MUST sign them before March 3rd.
  • If you tag a player, and do not sign him by March 3rd you still have to wait for a CBA. Or you can simply leave him with the Tag price.

(this situation likely applies to Woodley, who we really can't sign without a new CBA due to the 30% rule, but the tag protects him.)


Those are the 3 big rules currently in effect. Now if we get a new CBA further down the line, or even today for example, things could change. We don't know how many seasons it will take to become an FA, or RFA. We don't know how many tags will be allotted, or if any maximums, minimums, percent rules, etc will be enforced.


We could see a very hushed FA season if no new deal is reached soon. If it comes late, expect a very hectic fast paced situation.


The Draft:


Getting into my favorite time of the offseason, the draft. The draft this year may have one big change. We know that its very common for players to be traded during the draft. We just did this no more than a year ago, acquiring B-mac in the draft. But at least there IS a draft and there IS a combine and so essentially the show will go on. But here are some of the main points to consider, again, this is if there isnt a CBA for the dfraft in April.


  • You can't trade players without a CBA Therefore only picks could be traded, and not drafted players. So your picks could carry more weight, or perhaps we'll simply see less trading.
  • Compensatory picks are a bit in flux here. The league typically announces them in March. Its a CBA thing as well. Since Comp picks are determined from last years FA situation, its quite possible that we will see them. Other sources suggest no CBA, no comp picks at all.
  • You can't sign any drafted players until you get a CBA. This traces back to my point above in the FA part. Draft em, and yeah he's yours, but you can't get him suited up and signed just yet.

This will have some pretty far reaching impact on the draft if the CBA doesn't make it by that point.

Again, remember that a new CBA could be very different from the old one. Meaning compensatory picks may increase, or vanish altogether. So you have to be mindful of that factor, all the points I've been making are based on previous seasons. Another thing is a rookie pay scale is possibly in the works, so that could also be a big issue. I personally would love this.


A couple other points:

What will be included in the new CBA is really beyond me. Obviously we know the focus is to add two more games from our preseason slate. This in my opinion is a good idea. I think to successfully do it every team should get two bye weeks however. And they should be relatively well coordinated, so that everybody gets them near the same time and never has to play anybody the next week on a different rest schedule.

A more full breakdown on the "Final 8" rule. 

This rule was put into place for LAST YEARS FA. In other words, when the CBA was pulled, there are a series of rules for the "final year". One of these was the Final 8 rule. This rule applied to last seasons FA period. It meant you couldnt sign a player of high value unless you lost one. Basically if you were in the divisional round that year, you couldnt sign more FA's than you lost, and they had to be equivalent.

So a team that lost Ricardo Colclough couldnt have then signed Darrelle Revis for example.

This doesn't apply to us NOW. But in theory if its included in the CBA as a new permanent rule (one which promotes parity so who knows) it could retroactively apply to us NOW.


If the unthinkable occurs and no CBA is met throughout the offseason, all activities are delayed. Players can't practice, can't suit up, would have to likely just workout at home or something. Its a real mess and hopefully it gets resolved.


I fully believe we'll have a CBA by draft time but I'm willing to bet the Free Agency period will be delayed.


If you got more questions let me know. I read about this crap a lot so I figured i'd throw some stuff out there.


Oh, and I hate the owners and they stank. And I hate the NFLPA and they stank. Both groups are stanky. Hell the whole thing is a mess. These people are the greediest bastards.

But this poast is not about that so I'd like us to keep this convo more technical than debate-y about whos right and wrong and whatnot. Please and thank you.

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