When will NFL free-agent players be eligible for the draft?
The NFL is set to announce Tuesday that all free agents are eligible for their draft in 2019, although some have said they’ll wait until 2020 to be eligible.
According to NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is expected to announce that all players who were drafted in the past two seasons will be eligible to participate in the draft, although he did not specify when that announcement would be.
A team can choose to designate any player who was not drafted by the player’s previous team as a free agent.
The team can then choose any of its existing free agents to be the subject of the draft.
The draft will take place July 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m.
ET in Dallas.
In a press conference following the NFL Draft, NFL Media senior vice president of football operations Mike Garafolo said the NFL will allow players to be designated for the first round if the player was selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.
“I think that we’ll let them know the criteria, so that they’re not confused,” Garafoli said.
“We’re going to make sure that the criteria that we’re using are the criteria you would use for the general public.”
The draft will be a huge opportunity for free agents, as teams are already preparing for a number of trades to acquire their players.
The NFL’s current roster of 23 unrestricted free agents is roughly the size of the New York Yankees’ 2016 payroll.
The Los Angeles Chargers, Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Arizona Cardinals are among teams expected to be interested in acquiring free agents.
The NFL’s free-agency process has been plagued by trade speculation, but the draft will provide a chance to evaluate the market for each team’s best players.
Garafolan indicated there would be a high degree of “unfortunate events” and “staggers” in the NFL’s draft process, which is expected in the future.
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