The league had the option, per an arrangement agreed to by the players’ union in March, to make the draft anywhere from five rounds up to 40 rounds, which it had been since 2012. The union rejected a league proposal last week that would have made the draft 10 rounds, but with lower slot values in Rounds 6 through 10 than the March agreement had outlined.
Clubs can sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents for $20,000. The slot value for the last pick in the draft is $324,100. The March agreement set bonus slots at 2019 values (they normally rise each year with league revenue) and included a deferral program: $100,000 is due within 30 days of signing, 50% of what’s remaining will be paid in July 2021, the rest in July 2022.
There are a number of implications now that this long-rumored move has been finalized, falling into three major categories.