Author Topic: Free Agency rules explained (afl site)  (Read 1399 times)

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Free Agency rules explained (afl site)
« on: October 01, 2012, 11:31:41 AM »
Free agency explained
Mon 01 Oct, 2012

From October 1-19, restricted and unrestricted free agents have the option to move clubs, while the trade period, which has traditionally lasted for one week, has been extended in 2012 and will run from October 8-26.

How does free agency work?
Players can change clubs without going through the process of a trade or the draft.  A concept that has long been a part of American sports, free agents fall in the category of unrestricted or restricted.  To be eligible, players must be out of contract and have spent at least eight full seasons at one club.

Restricted versus unrestricted
An unrestricted free agent can automatically move to the club of his choice while an offer to a restricted free agent can be matched by his club, which has right of first refusal over his services. A restricted free agent is one that is in the top 25 per cent highest-paid players at his club while an unrestricted free agent is in the bottom 75 per cent or has spent at least 10 years at his club.

Clubs will be compensated by way of draft picks if they are deemed to have a net loss in the free agency period. The compensation falls into one of five categories - a first-round pick immediately following the club's first round pick, an end of first-round pick, a second-round pick immediately after the club's second round pick, an end of second-round pick or a third-round pick immediately after the club's third round selection.

Key Dates:
October 1 - Commencement of AFL Restricted Free Agency Offer and Unrestricted Free Agency period.
October 5, 2pm - Nomination of Father-Son Eligible Players and Academy Bidding Players.
October 8, 10am - Father-Son Eligible Players and Academy Players Bid Meeting.
October 8 - Commencement of AFL Trade Period.
October 19, 2pm - Deadline for GWS Giants to pre-list balance of any uncontracted players under List Establishment rules.
October 19, 5pm - Close to AFL Restricted Free Agency Offer and Unrestricted Free Agency Period.
October 22 - Restricted Free Agency Matching Offer Response Closed
October 23, 5pm - Trade Incentive Rule (17 year-olds) Deadline for Trading.
October 26, 2pm - End of AFL Trade Period.

US comparison
Each American sport has its own version of free agency with various detailed and complicated rules.

NBA free agents tend to be third or fourth-year players coming off their rookie contract but there is an exception for free agents that had originally been drafted in the first round as opposed to the second round.

After Gilbert Arenas left the Golden State Warriors to join the Washington Wizards, a rule was brought in to ensure teams over the salary cap couldn't lose a player coming off a rookie contract for huge money. Arenas had been a second-round pick but his performances in his first few years had elevated his standing in the game. The Warriors were unable to match the Wizards' offer but a rule was brought in afterwards to allow teams in their position to have the ability to re-sign restricted free agents who hadn't been first-round picks.

Restricted free agency is only allowed for first-round picks after a team exercises its option for a fourth year, and the team also gives a qualifying offer at the rookie scale amount after that fourth season.

Restricted free agents who were not first-round picks must have served three seasons in the NBA, and his team must have made a qualifying offer for either 125 per cent of his previous season's salary or the minimum salary plus $200,000, whichever offer is higher.

Similarly NFL free agents must have served three seasons but franchises can appoint one player a year to a 'franchise tag'. An 'exclusive' franchise player must be offered a one-year deal for an amount no less than the average salaries of the top five players who play that position or 120 per cent of that player's previous year's salary. The team benefits because the player cannot negotiate with other franchises. A non-exclusive player can negotiate with other teams but his current team has a right to match any offer.