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Waivers system now applies to all players

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The trade deadline has come and gone.  And that has meaning beyond the fact that players no longer can be traded from one team to another.

After the trade deadline, all players who are released by their current teams must pass through waivers.

Before the trade deadline, any player with four or more years of service becomes a free agent the moment he’s released, giving him the privilege of picking his next team.  After the trade deadline, every team has a crack at claiming his contract.

Two years ago, for example, when Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was injured after the trade deadline and the Broncos decided to embrace Tebowmania, Kyle Orton asked to be released, so that he could return to the Bears.

The Broncos complied.  But the Chiefs claimed Orton on waivers.

Eleven years ago, cornerback Deion Sanders wanted to unretire and join the Raiders for the playoffs.  Washington released Deion from the reserve/retired list — and former Redskins coach (then Chargers coach) Marty Schottenheimer blocked the man who had quit on Schottenheimer from waltzing in to a potential championship run with the Raiders.

So if the Falcons decide once they’re mathematically eliminated from postseason contention to give tight end Tony Gonzalez his freedom, Gonzalez won’t automatically get to pick the playoff team that puts him in best position to exit with a Lombardi Trophy under his arm.  If any of the non-playoff teams decide for any reason to block the move, all they have to do is claim Gonzalez on waivers.

In other words, Gonzalez should be careful what he wishes for.  If the Falcons give Gonzalez his freedom, he could end up playing for Greg Schiano.  Or playing with the Jaguars.

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28 Responses to “Waivers system now applies to all players”
  1. heyguru1969 says: Oct 30, 2013 9:15 AM

    What a shame that such a talent came back for one last hurrah, only to have the Falcons implode with injuries. Enjoy your retirement FOR REAL after the season, Tony. Go to a nice remote lake, and the only hand-held device you should carry with you is a fishing pole.

  2. joetoronto says: Oct 30, 2013 9:28 AM

    Marty Schottenheimer never had one ounce of class, the loser.

  3. cmoehr says: Oct 30, 2013 9:29 AM

    Could a player use a poison pill style contract to get around this? They would need help from their current team of course….. like renegotiate their contract to be a one day contract before hitting the waiver wire? Maybe contracts have to be approved by the league and this just isn’t possible. I’m trying to figure out if the system could be ‘gamed’.

  4. marcuswelby70 says: Oct 30, 2013 9:33 AM

    In other words, Gonzalez should be careful what he wishes for. If the Falcons give Gonzalez his freedom, he could end up playing for Greg Schiano. Or playing with the Jaguars.

    —————————————

    Now why would the Jags or Bucs want to pick up Gonzalez who would have no motivation or desire to play for either of them?

  5. ingraven says: Oct 30, 2013 9:47 AM

    Haha. That’s what happened to Jason Babin.

  6. clssylssy says: Oct 30, 2013 9:56 AM

    Geez…that sucks, it’s kinda like the players go up on Ebay to be bid on after a lifetime of service to the fans! It’s a shame to work so hard only to be auctioned off at the end of a career!

  7. bigblackanvil says: Oct 30, 2013 10:00 AM

    I seriously doubt anyone would block a class act like Gonzalez from rejoining the Chief. He’s is the NFL prototype of what a player should be. Good luck to him. HTTR

  8. wwwmattcom says: Oct 30, 2013 10:02 AM

    This isn’t a shame. This prevents teams from becoming the Yankees or the Red Sox or Dodgers of football.

    As a Bills fan I would be ticked off if not only did the Patriots never play a game vs. A team on extended rest (Bills play 7) but that the pats could stack their roster and make it harder for my favorite team to win. They don’t need any more help in that department.

    Tony is well compensated. I don’t feel sorry for him.

  9. tommytolles says: Oct 30, 2013 10:05 AM

    “If the Falcons give Gonzalez his freedom, he could end up playing for Greg Schiano. Or playing with the Jaguars.”

    …or with the Chiefs – who still hold #1 waiver priority over every player released until the end of the league year.

    Kind of funny to be 8-0 and have first dibs on any player teams cut ties with.

  10. catfanatic1979v1 says: Oct 30, 2013 10:14 AM

    I think they should push the dealine back another few weeks in upcoming seasons.

  11. nfloracle says: Oct 30, 2013 10:35 AM

    “… playing for Greg Schiano.”

    OMG, that would be as bad as having to attend a Justin Bieber concert every Saturday night for the next two months.

  12. granadafan says: Oct 30, 2013 11:07 AM

    Did this rule just get passed mid season or was it in the off season? If it’s the former, then it seems pretty shady.

  13. 23rdusernameused says: Oct 30, 2013 11:13 AM

    tommytolles
    good point…
    who has waiver wire priority now? is it based on last seasons record?

  14. dcapettini says: Oct 30, 2013 11:18 AM

    Falcons fans are the whiniest. Their team has “imploded with injuries”. What a crock. The Patriots have had more injuries and they are doing just fine. How about Buffalo and Philly? Think you have injuries? There is always some excuse in Atlanta. What it comes down to is even with fabulous receivers, Matty “Ice” is ice cold and can’t get the job done.

  15. wjarvis says: Oct 30, 2013 11:37 AM

    @tommytolles, the Chiefs do not have first dibs on any player, priority is based on this years standings, so every team would have to think it wouldn’t be right to block a Gonzalez move back to the chiefs, which wouldn’t happen.

  16. xpensivewinos says: Oct 30, 2013 11:40 AM

    It’s not that easy to become the Yankees, Red Sox or Dodgers of football when NFL teams are dealing with a salary cap.

    If an NFL team is a bottom feeder year after year, their problem is their ability to evaluate talent in the draft, not the NFL waiver system.

  17. kaptingavrin says: Oct 30, 2013 11:45 AM

    He wouldn’t end up on the Jaguars. This is Gonzalez’s final season which makes him useless for the Jaguars. Sure, it’d be good to have a tight end other than Marcedes Lewis (who might also be gone after the season, if they opt not to keep him), but they need a TE for the long-term, not a guy who’ll be gone at the end of the year. Gonzalez is a good player, sure, but he’s also a player who is almost out of the league (his own choice).

  18. kaptingavrin says: Oct 30, 2013 11:49 AM

    “…or with the Chiefs – who still hold #1 waiver priority over every player released until the end of the league year.

    Kind of funny to be 8-0 and have first dibs on any player teams cut ties with.”

    Actually, as of September 24, the waiver system reverted to the current record. The prior season only counts during preseason and the first three weeks of the season, after which it goes by record. Which means the Chiefs have gone from #1 on waiver priority to currently being #32.

  19. Grulks says: Oct 30, 2013 12:17 PM

    Waiver wire is based on current win-loss standings. NOT previous years.

  20. marcinhouston says: Oct 30, 2013 12:32 PM

    The Broncos (currently a worse record) would block Gonzalez from going to the Chiefs as might the Chargers, who still have hope for a wildcard. The Seahawks, Colts, Packers, etc would also take an elite TE. Being undefeated, the Chiefs cannot possibly get him.

  21. conormacleod says: Oct 30, 2013 1:01 PM

    The NFL trade deadline is a joke. The most boring day of the season.

  22. icebowler says: Oct 30, 2013 1:03 PM

    He won’t get to the Chiefs. He probably wouldn’t get past the Packers. Doubt if he’d even get that far.

  23. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 30, 2013 1:06 PM

    bigblackanvil says:

    I seriously doubt anyone would block a class act like Gonzalez from rejoining the Chief.
    ________________________

    Are you kidding me ? Of course other teams would claim Gonzalez. I can think of about 6 off the top of my head that would possibly grab him if he went on waivers.Starting with every other team in the AFC that looks like they’ll get in the playoffs.

    Not sure if the current year waiver order is based on last year’s results, but if its based on current standings every other team would have a shot at him before the Chiefs.

    granadafan says:

    Did this rule just get passed mid season or was it in the off season? If it’s the former, then it seems pretty shady.
    ________________________________

    Its been in place for years I believe. Nothing shady at all.

  24. jeremycrowhurst says: Oct 30, 2013 1:14 PM

    If the Falcons didn’t trade him, they certainly aren’t going to cut him.

    …and by the by, why all the talk about the Chiefs? Does anybody really think they’re a team built to win in the playoffs?

  25. raidadon says: Oct 30, 2013 1:33 PM

    Chefs a paper tiger. If Gonzo got back to KC it’d be just like old times. One and done!

  26. allday2k says: Oct 30, 2013 2:46 PM

    Good article. Before reading it I was curious how exactly the waiver process worked before the deadline and how tenure played a role.

    Also interesting to see how those players plans got screwed up because of it. Kinda lousy of Schottenheimer to do that though just because he was holding a grudge and he was no longer coaching that team. If I were him, I wouldn’t have put a guy on my team who previously quit on me. But seeing how the Raiders are a division rival, blocking them from getting a dynamic player and an increased probability of a championship makes sense.

  27. rockstart42 says: Oct 30, 2013 3:11 PM

    Don’t feel sorry for Tony the money he makes and he gets to play the game… good for him. Not getting a trophy oh well. THat is football.

  28. judsonjr says: Oct 30, 2013 3:42 PM

    Gonzales wouldn’t get far. Heck the Giants might pick him up with how bad the NFC East is.

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