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Incoming prospect can ditch the draft, by sitting out two years

Twenty years ago, Eli Manning did not want to play for the Chargers. They drafted him anyway, before trading him to the Giants.

What if a player wants to pick his own team, and what if the team that wants him can't trade for him?

The Collective Bargaining Agreement sets forth the procedure for players who don't want to play for the team that has drafted them. In a nutshell, the player can sit out the entire year and re-enter the draft. If he doesn't like where he was drafted the second time, he can sit out a second season and then become an undrafted free agent following the next draft.

That's a lot to sacrifice. But if, say, a quarterback who otherwise can play into his 40s is willing to not play for two years, he has a blueprint for picking his own team to start his career.

His initial pay would be limited, given the fact that teams have a set pool of money available to sign undrafted free agents. But, by rule, he can get a second deal after his second ason. Drafted players must wait three years to get a second contract.

Still, for players who are earning (and potentially banking) NIL money, a player can credibly threaten to sit out an entire year, if he's drafted by a team for which he doesn't want to play. Then, he can re-enter the draft. The second time around, his threat might be taken more like a promise.

Whether it happens this year (Caleb Williams isn't currently expected to resist going to the Bears) or next year (Colorado coach Deion Sanders has said he'll steer his son, Shedeur, and teammate Travis Hunter away from most teams) or the year after, another power play is inevitable. It becomes more inevitable as college players learn more money via their names, images, and likenesses.