Here is an off the wall question. Can a potential first-round pick who does not want to be drafted by a bad team, forgo the draft, and next year sign with the team he wants as a free agent? I think Bo Jackson did something like that, but I was wondering if a player could still do that. Obviously, they would have difficulty getting the money they want without the first round pick stature, but if they are that good, and a good team wants them, maybe they could still get big bucks, but will be playing instead for a Super Bowl contender. Not sure how this would work, or how what the team acquiring the player would have to give up.
A player who does not want to play for a team could go the John Elway route and tell the team who drafted him that he will not sign and it would be wise to trade him. John Elway was drafted by the Baltimore Colts but forced a trade to Denver. Eli Manning did the same thing when drafted by San Diego. He forced a trade to the Giants.
He doesn’t just turn into a free agent. In Bo Jackson’s case his rights were forfeited at the end of the season and he was drafted by the Oakland Raiders the next draft. I don’t think the rules have changed regarding that. So a player can refuse to play for a team in the hopes that they trade his rights, or they can wait for an entire year and go back into the draft. And you are back to square one because you don’t get to choose your team.
The Raiders were able to entice Jackson back to the NFL by letting him play out the baseball season and join the team in the middle of the season.
As was said, that player can sit out and re-enter the draft the following year. They stand to lose a lot of money doing that though, as Bo dropped from the first overall pick of the draft all the way to the seventh round pick #183 the following year.
Raghib Ismail did the same thing back in ’91. It really didn’t cost him all that much… sort of. I think he was going to be an early round pick, but said that he was going to play in the CFL if he weren’t offered enough money. I think that caused him to be drafted in the 4th round. Because he went to the CFL, he entered the NFL draft 2 years later and got picked 1 round later. Now, putting up big numbers in the CFL helped him out, but as I said in my prior post, you’re playing with fire if you don’t have another option.