Udfa Agreement

UDFA Agreement: What It Is and Why It Matters

The undrafted free agent (UDFA) market is a crucial aspect of the NFL off-season, and the UDFA agreement is a vital document that governs this process. In this article, we will explore what the UDFA agreement is, how it works, and why it matters.

What is the UDFA Agreement?

The UDFA agreement is a set of rules and guidelines that govern the process of signing undrafted rookies to NFL teams. It was originally established in 1990 as part of the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).

The UDFA agreement outlines the procedures that teams must follow when signing undrafted rookies, including rules related to compensation, signing bonuses, and contract length. The agreement also establishes guidelines for the timing of the UDFA signing period, as well as procedures for resolving disputes related to UDFA signings.

How Does the UDFA Agreement Work?

The UDFA signing period typically begins immediately following the conclusion of the NFL draft, with teams able to begin negotiating with undrafted rookies as soon as the final pick is made. The signing period lasts for a limited time, typically a few days or weeks, during which teams can offer contracts to undrafted rookies.

Under the UDFA agreement, teams are limited in the amount of compensation they can offer to undrafted rookies. The agreement also establishes rules related to signing bonuses, which are typically awarded to undrafted rookies but are subject to certain limitations.

In addition to these rules related to financial compensation, the UDFA agreement also establishes guidelines related to contract length and the rights of players who sign with multiple teams during the UDFA signing period.

Why Does the UDFA Agreement Matter?

The UDFA agreement is important for several reasons. First and foremost, it helps to ensure that the signing process for undrafted rookies is fair and transparent, with all teams operating under the same set of rules and guidelines.

The agreement also helps to protect the rights of undrafted rookies, ensuring that they receive fair compensation and are treated fairly during the signing process. This is especially important given that undrafted rookies often have limited bargaining power and may be more vulnerable to exploitation by teams.

Finally, the UDFA agreement helps to ensure that the overall talent level of the NFL remains high by providing a framework for teams to sign talented undrafted rookies who may have been overlooked in the draft. This helps to keep the league competitive and ensures that teams have access to a wide pool of talent.


The UDFA agreement may not be the most glamorous document in the NFL, but it plays a vital role in ensuring that the league operates fairly and efficiently. Whether you`re a die-hard fan or simply someone with a passing interest in the NFL, understanding the UDFA agreement is an important part of understanding how the league operates and how teams build their rosters.

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