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No Signing of Undrafted Free Agents

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  • No Signing of Undrafted Free Agents

    As things stand right now with the lockout, there will still be a draft held, however, barring a legal injunction that states otherwise, there won't be any signing of players to contracts until a new CBA is in place.

    And while the majority of the NFL fans could care less, the most significant way this affects us draft fans is that there will be no signing of undrafted free agents.

    I haven't read any detailed articles about what to expect, I do have a few informed guesses as to how this may affects things during the draft, particularly towards the end.

    Teams trying to acquire more picks.
    Many of the league's top teams are those who not only use their draft picks wisely, but also sign and develop undrafted players most effectively. Given that teams will only be able to lay claim to the rookies they actually draft, we may see some teams working hard to pick up as many later round picks as possible to make up for the lack of undrafted players.

    For example, any team willing to trade back with another may try to squeeze every pick they can out of the deal, even those otherwise fairly unnotable 7th rounders. This may cause a reduction in trading overall since teams may prefer to keep as many picks as they can rather than give up 2 or 3 to trade up for one.

    More trades of future picks.
    Along those same lines, we might see teams using 2012 picks to acquire a few extra picks this year to make up for the lack of undrafted free agents they will have. And as there are teams like the Patriots who seem to love stockpiling future picks, there may be plenty of takers. Teams perhaps giving up a 2012 6th rounder for an extra 7th this year or something like that.

    More skill position players drafted late for use on Special Teams.
    Since the best chance most undrafted players have of making an active roster each year is to contribute on Special Teams, teams may be accustomed to having those guys to work with. So, it's possible that we may see teams selecting more DBs, LBs and WRs late in the draft with the intent of developing them as their post-lockout special teamers.

    Just a few thoughts I had. Feel free to share if you can think of other ways this may affect the draft itself.

  • #2
    I would wonder a little how much it would discourage teams from taking players who are considered projects if they're going to be unable to sign and work with them right away. For example, would Jameson Konz be drafted this year? Maybe not.


    • #3
      Well, a lot of this won't necessarily be true by the draft. The motion for a preliminary injunction to block the lockout by the NFLPA* will be addressed in next few weeks, so certainly before the draft. Depending on what happens there will likely affect the circumstances on the draft. If the ex-union prevails, then the league year will have started by then and you can sign free agents. If the league prevails in their argument that decertification is a sham (it is), then likely both sides will quickly return to the bargaining table so a new CBA could potentially be done by then.


      • #4
        Well here are the real losers of this whole situation. Thats a shame.
        I want a sig.


        • #5
          Originally posted by HeavyLeggedWaistBender View Post
          Well here are the real losers of this whole situation. Thats a shame.
          Very true. If this takes a long time to get straightened out, teams may opt to go with more veteran rosters due to limited time to prepare their teams before the season starts.


          • #6
            Hopefully this all gets worked out. As a Patriots fan we have a lot of guys on our team who possibly wouldn't have got a shot is if weren't for the UDFA process, and a lot of them contribute a pretty good amount. This dick measuring contest needs to end.


            • #7
              Originally posted by BeerBaron View Post
              Very true. If this takes a long time to get straightened out, teams may opt to go with more veteran rosters due to limited time to prepare their teams before the season starts.
              It also bears mentioning that if the NFLPA* is successful at blocking a lockout, the most likely scenario is that the league ends up having to establish work rules for the season going forward. One of the things the NFL will absolutely not do in their work rules is "establish a minimum salary." So the "vet minimum" will be a thing of the past, which makes it even more attractive to fill out the bottom of your roster with low-quality veterans, since you can get away with paying them as little as you can get away with.


              • #8
                Please, sombody that knows correct me if I'm wrong, but could the teams technically sign these guys to futures contracts? It would be the same as the futures contracts they give to practice squadders and street free agents at the end of every season.

                SUre, they wouldn't be able to sign the guys and give them any money right away, but it would basically be a promissory note stating that when there was a new league year, they would be given a contract for the stated amount.

                Anybody that actually knows something about this care to comment?


                • #9
                  Cullen Jenkins, Tramon Williams, Sam Shields, Frank Zombo... undrafted free agents.
                  The Packers would not have won a Super Bowl without those guys.

                  I'm actually tired of all this CBA b***** already.
                  Play football for God's sake.


                  • #10
                    UFL will prosper from this. This is what they were waiting for. UDFA will not sit by idle and not get paid. UFL will take them happily and pay them some.


                    • #11
                      This was something that was kinda talked about a while ago but got overlooked. This is a big deal. Mr.Irrelevent now becomes HUGE. Training camps will be totally different given that they won't have nearly as many bodies. Prospects who go undrafted are going to get screwed over badly. Assuming things stay as they are, those who continue to stay and shape to prepare for a shot at making a team next year, will be in very tough considering the UDFA class will consist of everyone over a two year span. Maybe we see some of that talent disperse into the UFL/CFL. Like said above by others, I really hope this issue gets worked out before its too late.



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