What is a priority free agent in the NFL?

Free Agent Jose Borregales
Free Agent Jose Borregales
Bethany Cohen
Modified 03 May 2021

When the NFL Draft concludes, players who were draft-eligible can then accept free agent contracts with any NFL team. While some are considered undrafted free agents, others are priority free agents.

A priority free agent is a player that wasn't drafted in the current NFL draft and then immediately signs with an NFL team for a guaranteed amount of money. These free agents along with the drafted players are invited to an NFL Mini Camp with their team. The mini camp involves only rookies. NFL teams can decide whether to trim down their rookie class before training camp starts in the summer. Those who are drafted and the players that sign that weekend are more likely to get a chance at training camp rather than players who are just invited to a team's mini camp.

After the NFL Draft concluded this weekend, there were announcements from NFL teams all around the league about players that they sign to a priority free agent deal. The following is a list of some notable players:

  • The New York Jets signed Defensive Back Isaiah Dunn out of the University of Oregon
  • The New York Jets signed Rutgers University defensive tackle Michael Dwumfour
  • Southern Mississippi Wide Receiver Tim Jones signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • The Baltimore Ravens signed Safety Ar'Darius Washington out of Texas Christian University
  • The Indianapolis Colt signed Duke University Running Back Deon Jackson
  • The Cleveland Browns signed Florida State defensive tackle Marvin Wilson
  • Texas A&M Linebacker Anthony Hines signed with the Dallas Cowboys
  • New Orleans Saints signed Iowa State tight end Dylan Soehner
  • University of Miami kciker Jose Borregales signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Detroit Lions signed Notre Dame wide receiver Javon McKinley
  • Oklahoma State University wide receiver Dillon Stoner signed with the Las Vegas Raiders
  • University of Michigan tight end Nick Eubanks signed with the Dallas Cowboys
  • New Orleans Saints signed defensive tackle Josiah Bronson from the University of Washington
  • Miam Dolphins signed Middle Tennessee offensive lineman Robert Jones

In comparison, an exclusive rights free agent is an NFL player who has had some service time but less than three years. This gives exclusive rights to the team that the player is currently playing for.

Players that are signed as priority free agents consider this to be one last chance at getting an opportunity to make the NFL roster or at least a practice squad by the time the season starts.

Published 03 May 2021
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