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Old 02.01.2014, 02:54 PM
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Default Help me understand "transfers"

Hello everyone!

New to watching NFL, I think it is great and can't get enough of it.

I'm still learning the basics though, and one thing that I am struggling to get my head around is player recruitment.

The main thing I am confused about is the "draft".

Any help would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02.01.2014, 02:58 PM
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This miight help a little.

http://www.craveonline.com/sports/ar...-the-nfl-draft

I hasten to add - I am not suggesting you are a 'dummy'. It just saves me some typing.
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Old 02.01.2014, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rhys1879safc View Post
Hello everyone!

New to watching NFL, I think it is great and can't get enough of it.

I'm still learning the basics though, and one thing that I am struggling to get my head around is player recruitment.

The main thing I am confused about is the "draft".

Any help would be appreciated.
Like almost everything else, the way teams acquire players in the NFL is completely different to (our) football - there is no concept of "transfer fees" or club-linked "academy systems".

Basically, Teams acquire players via one of 4 methods :-

- The annual NFL College Draft - (Loads of sources on-line for the finer detail of how this works Try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...l_League_draft for starters - in the simplest terms, teams get to pick in reverse order of the previous season's final ranking, i.e. worst team gets 1st pick, 33rd pick, .... Superbowl winners get 32nd pick, 64th pick and so on.....). Players in the NFL Draft are the "hotshot" young prospects out of College Football. "The Draft" is the most important means of getting the "blue-chip" players a team needs to build around for the future. - A team picking a player via the College Draft owns the rights to that player for one year - He can't play for any other team during that time if he dosen't sign with the team that picked him, unless the team that picked him trades the rights.
- Free Agency - Players not under contract to another team. Everybody from out-of-contract "big name" veterans to "street" guys who "walk on" at Training Camp. - Complex rules apply to Free Agency, Far too much to explain here......
- Waivers - Players released by other teams while under contract. Similar to the draft, teams get to put in a "claim" in reverse order of their current ranking. Teams acquiring players off waivers inherit the player's current contract. The waiver process is a short and sweet "anyone interested?" sort of process which only lasts 24 hours for each player. Players released but not "claimed" have their contracts voided. and become free agents. "Waiver Wire" pick-ups tend to be "fringe" or "project" kind of guys - It's very rare for someone with a big contract to be claimed via Waivers, since that's likely one of the factors in releasing them to start with....
- Trade - Teams may trade players (and/or draft picks) among themselves (no "transfer fee" involved). Like the "transfer deadline" in (our) football, there is a "trade deadline" in the NFL. Teams cannot simply "buy" or "sell" players - they have to agree an exchange deal of "mutual benefit".... Though many straight "player(s)-for-player(s)" trades occur, most trades involve a "player(s)-for-future-draft pick(s)" element.

All of this has to occur within the limits of a fixed Salary Cap (set each season based on a formula tied to League Revenues) for each team. (To ensure competitive balance and prevent owners running their teams "on the cheap", there is also a fixed "Salary Floor" (approx 90% of the Cap) - Each team must spend at least this amount.) Each team must also maintain a fixed number of players (currently 53 - no more, no less) on their "Roster" (roughly equivalent to "squad" in our football speak) at all times throughout the playing season. This effectively means you have to release ("cut") an existing player in order to sign a new one, and also introduces complications with Injured players - though there are various means of keeping on a few "non-roster" and injured players, and bringing them back at some future date.

Violation of "player acquisition" rules and procedures gets you in hot water with the league - Loss of Draft Picks and/or Loss of Salary Cap is a typical penalty.

The whole process of acquiring players and managing the team "roster" within the rules is pretty complex - Teams will employ a mini-army of people just to deal with this stuff.

Last edited by BigTone; 02.01.2014 at 05:55 PM.
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Old 02.01.2014, 05:08 PM
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Okay I understand.

Can players who are free agents be acquired at any time? I'm guessing the draft is "post-season"?
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Old 02.01.2014, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhys1879safc View Post
Hello everyone!

New to watching NFL, I think it is great and can't get enough of it.

I'm still learning the basics though, and one thing that I am struggling to get my head around is player recruitment.

The main thing I am confused about is the "draft".

Any help would be appreciated.
That link's a little out of date now but the basics are still the same.

The main thing to say is that there is no such thing as a 'transfer' in the soccer sense in the NFL. You cannot buy players from another team for money. There are 4 main ways to acquire players:

1. The draft. This is for young players coming out of college. There are 7 rounds, normally each team gets one pick in each round. The worst team goes first, so that means the team who had the worst win-loss record in the previous season. The Super Bowl champion picks last in each round. Teams can trade their picks with each other (for players or for other picks) so it's not quite as simple as 1 pick per team per round. Roughly speaking it is a sliding scale - the higher in the draft a player is picked, the bigger salary he will command. From a financial standpoint players want to be picked as high as possible, therefore.

2. Trades. This is where a player under contract with one team moves to another team. This is the closest thing to a soccer transfer, but no money changes hands between teams in the NFL. If you want to acquire a player you must either swap him for draft picks (this year or in a future year) or for other players. You must also take on the player's existing contract for its remaining duration. The fact that each team has only a finite number of draft picks and players worth swapping for, and the lack of money involvement, means you do not get situations in the NFL where rich teams continually take the best players from poorer teams.

3. Free agent acquisitions. This is where players who are out of contract agree to sign for a new team. A player will either be a free agent if his old contract expired or if he was cut (contract terminated) by his old team and he is not taken on waivers (see below). In these cases the player can join whichever team he likes and usually his old team does not get any compensation (draft picks) for this. The player is also free to negotiate a new contract, so the new team doesn't need to pay the player what the old team did - it could be more, it could be less. Usually a free agent will go wherever the money is best, but there are exceptions. Because teams have a salary cap in the NFL, it is not possible to just stock pile talented players on high salaries across all positions. You do not get situations in the NFL where the bench of one team is far superior and better paid than another team's starting line-up, unlike in soccer.

4. Waivers - a bit like free agency in that the player has been cut, but in the first few days after being cut a team can put in a 'tender' to acquire a player before he hits the free agent market. This means taking on the player's contract. Usually it is done on 'sealed bids' principle, so that if more than one team wants the player the worst team in terms of record gets him. Usually only 'bargain' players are picked up on waivers. If a good player is cut but his salary is too high teams are likely to wait for the waiver period to expire and try to grab the player as a free agent instead.

Last edited by European Bob; 02.01.2014 at 05:23 PM.
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Old 02.01.2014, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by rhys1879safc View Post
Can players who are free agents be acquired at any time?
Yes and No - There are specific "windows" for the more valuable veteran free agents, basically players who are already established in the league.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhys1879safc View Post
I'm guessing the draft is "post-season"?
The Draft takes place over 3 days in April (though they've moved it to May this year), and "Day One" (when the best prospects are picked) is one of the major events in the NFL calendar. The national "combine" which precedes it (usually late February - an opportunity for teams to evaluate and test college prospects) is also a key event.

Last edited by BigTone; 02.01.2014 at 06:34 PM.
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Old 02.01.2014, 07:46 PM
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The Draft is a bit like when you're at school and it's dinner time and all the lads are lined up in the yard ready for a game of football. Sides need to be picked and it's a case of picking the best players first. However, the fat kids with asthma and glasses with lenses as thick as the bottom of a jam jar are actually doing the picking, rather than the other way around. It's crappy for the best players, but at least you get to play and are appreciated by those that picked you.

In terms of 'transfers' - think of it being like a long transfer window but the only players really available are those available on a Bosman.

If players are released, depending on how long they've been in the league, they either become a 'Bosman' straight away, or it's the school yard situation again with the fat kids.

If that helps?
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Old 02.01.2014, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Razors Edge View Post
The Draft is a bit like when you're at school and it's dinner time and all the lads are lined up in the yard ready for a game of football. Sides need to be picked and it's a case of picking the best players first. However, the fat kids with asthma and glasses with lenses as thick as the bottom of a jam jar are actually doing the picking, rather than the other way around. It's crappy for the best players, but at least you get to play and are appreciated by those that picked you.

In terms of 'transfers' - think of it being like a long transfer window but the only players really available are those available on a Bosman.

If players are released, depending on how long they've been in the league, they either become a 'Bosman' straight away, or it's the school yard situation again with the fat kids.

If that helps?
Couldn't have said it better...and I'm an American!
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Old 03.01.2014, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rhys1879safc View Post
Can players who are free agents be acquired at any time? I'm guessing the draft is "post-season"?
Free agents can be signed by any team starting on March 11 (that's the beginning of the "nfl year"). Teams have exclusive negotiating rights on their own free agents before then, but the player doesn't have to sign with them if he doesn't want to. He can just wait until free agency hits if he wants and go to any team (if they offer him a contract). Usually the best free agents get snatched up the first couple weeks. The backups might take awhile to be signed. A player doesn't become a free agent until his contract is up (at the end of the season) or is released and clears waivers. In that case he becomes a free agent and can be signed by any team immediately.

Say, a player signs a four year contract with a team. He has to stay with that team the entire time for the agreed upon salary (until the fourth year is up) and no other team can take him (unless he's traded).

Note that teams in the nfl (unlike your football) can't just buy great teams because of the salary cap. Every nfl team uses almost all of its salary cap, meaning that money isn't really the issue in getting a good team. Smart drafts, trades, and signings make a winner. Every nfl team has an equal chance.

And the worst teams get the best draft picks (the best teams get the worst draft picks) so that it's easier for bad teams to move up. Going early in the first round is huge (and every round, but especially the first). Players taken in the first 2 rounds are usually starters almost immediately, so they can make an immediate impact. American football's a young man's game. When a team drafts a player, they have exclusive negotiating rights to him for the entire season. He can't go anywhere else unless he sits out an entire season (so he pretty much has to go to that team; he is not a free agent).
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Old 03.01.2014, 05:45 PM
Sgu02cjb Sgu02cjb is offline
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This is really useful info for me too as a new NFL fan. One thing I don't quite understand though is when a team can't mathematically make the play offs aren't they tempted to lose a few matches to improve their draft pick?
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