What stops rookies fromforgoing the draft and just signing as free agents?

After the draft all NFL prospects are declared free agents. What is stopping rookies from declaring themselves free agents and notsigningup for teh draft in the first place?

All of us regular schmoes are essentially free agents working for whom or where we choose if the job is available.

Is there some legal way the NFL can force players to go into the draft? Their contracts are with the teams not the league like the WNBA. So they are employees of a team and should in theory be able to seek employment with the team(s) of their choosing.

Anyone have any insight?

Update:

I am noting that the undrafted rookies are free agents after the draft, not all.

Update 2:

What stops a top prospect like Reggie Bush, Darren McFadden, Jamarcus Russell, etc. from just not declaring forteh draft then signing as a free agent?

Would they not get moremoney this way negotiating with the teams of tehir choice?

Update 3:

I got the closest answer but since no one seems to reference any sort of rule book I am assuming it's just an understanding they have.

I am looking at it more like how many foriegn basketball and baseball players join their sports. Ichiro was never drafted nor was Matsuzaka. Many of the South American Baseballers simply sign with a club that has a local camp in their areas.

I imagine there are some sort of rules but the rules seem flawed and honestly illegal. I am wondering if there is something in the leagues' antitrust agreement with the Gov. that allows them to force their employees to enter a draft that forces them to work in a particular location or for a particular organization even if it is less desireable and possibly for less money then they could make on the open market.

6 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    undrafted rookies are free agents, yes. but anyone drafted is obligated under NFL rules to sign with the team who drafted them, or sit out for 2 years, i believe it is. if they want to sit out for 2 years, they become free agents and can negotiate with any team they want.

    i've tried to explain it to you but you're not listening. a college player CANNOT just decide to not enter the draft, an NFL team can draft any player they want, and that player is obligated to negotiate solely with that team for a period of 2 years. what prevents them from refusing to be drafted? the NFL rulebook prevents them from doing that.

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  • 1 decade ago

    No, there is nothing. Any player CAN do that, but why would they. There is no benefit to something like that. The only thing you would be doing is chancing not having a team to go to, plus losing a lot of money. However, if you do enter the draft and get drafted, then there are rules in place to keep players from doing that so that they can't really choose teams they don't want to play for. Sometimes top level players get away with it by refusing, but then they are at the mercy of the team that drafted them. Elway for instance would have played baseball if he had not gotten traded by the Colts(they drafted him originally and he was also drafted by the Yankees for baseball)

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is only better to be a free-agent if you go in round 6-7 of the draft.

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  • ospina
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Sproles, Jacobs, Asomugha, Lewis and Suggs will all stay with an identical group. So will Cassel him and Asomugha gets franchised. Housh and Haynesworth are long gone. Housh probable Minnesota, Bears or Philly and Haynesworth the Browns or Broncos or Colts.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The answer is $$$$$$$. You get more money if you're drafted than will will get as a free agent.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Money if you are picked in the 1st few rounds you get way more than if you are undrafted

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