Please feel free to merge this if there is a better thread for it. Reading through the old CBA leaves me a bit perplexed as to why it is even relevant whether a player like Branch reports after game 10. As I read it in ARTICLE XVIII, FA occurs automatically once a player has 4 Accrued seasons at the point his existing contract expires. Based on the definitions of an accrued season (only place a could find a definition was ARTICLE XIX), Branch has already completed 4 (2002, 03, 04, and 05). I donĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t get why accruing a 5th (6th, 7th, etc) is needed. And, section 1 (b) appears to indicate players donĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t accrue a season no matter when they report if they fail to report to the club at least 30 days prior to the start of the season or fail to perform contract services (which by holding out one does). This section 1 (b) was the reason given for why Westbrook (Eagles) stopped his holdout after only a few days last year. So it obviously applies to at least some players. So it seems to me the key thing for a player with 4+ accrued seasons would be determining when a contract expires. Since it is a 5 year contract, it is safe to say it was written to expire at the end of this season. But in the standard player contract there is a provision for extending a contract if a player refuses to perform his services under the contract (section 16 of player contract below). It would seem to me that a player holding out is the same as refusing to perform services (services defined in section 2 of the player contract below). If that interpretation is true, why wouldnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t a team toll a player and extend the contract Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“for a period of time equal to the number of seasons (to the nearest multiple of one) remaining at the time the contract was tolled.Ă˘â‚¬ And when actually could they toll it? Any legal minds out there want to take a shot at clearing this up? Below are the sections of the CBA and standard player contracts referenced (from the old CBA Ă˘â‚¬â€ś new CBA term sheet doesnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t mention changing any of these areas). From ARTICLE XIX VETERAN FREE AGENCY Section 1. Unrestricted Free Agents: Ă˘â‚¬Ĺ“Ă˘â‚¬Â¦[any player] with four or more Accrued Seasons in any Capped Year, shall, at the expiration of his Player Contract, become an Unrestricted Free Agent.Ă˘â‚¬ From ARTICLE XVIII VETERANS WITH LESS THAN THREE ACCRUED SEASONS Section 1. Accrued Seasons Calculation: (a) For the purposes of calculating Accrued Seasons under this Agreement, a player shall receive one Accrued Season for each season during which he was on, or should have been on, full pay status for a total of six or more regular season games, but which, irrespective of the playerĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s pay status, shall not include games for which the player was on: (i) the Exempt Commissioner Permission List, (ii) the Reserve PUP List as a result of a nonfootball injury, or (iii) a ClubĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Practice or Development Squad. (b) For the purposes of calculating Accrued Seasons under this Agreement, for any League Year during the term of this Agreement beginning with the 1993 League Year, a player shall not receive an Accrued Season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a Club and in which he failed to report to such Club at least thirty days prior to the first regular season game of that season, or in which the player thereafter failed to perform his contract services for the Club for a material period of time, unless he demonstrates to the Impartial Arbitrator extreme personal hardship causing such failure to report or perform, such as severe illness or death in the family. The determination of the Impartial Arbitrator shall be made within thirty days of the application by the player, and shall be based upon all information relating to such hardship submitted by such date. The determination of the Impartial Arbitrator shall be final and binding upon all parties. From APPENDIX C NFL PLAYER CONTRACT 2. EMPLOYMENT AND SERVICES. Ă˘â‚¬Â¦Player will report promptly for and participate fully in ClubĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s official mandatory mini-camp(s), official pre-season training camp, all Club meetings and practice sessions, and all pre-season, regular season and post-season football games scheduled for or by Club. 16. EXTENSION. Unless this contract specifically provides otherwise, if Player becomes a member of the Armed Forces of the United States or any other country, or retires from professional football as an active player, or otherwise fails or refuses to perform his services under this contract, then this contract will be tolled between the date of PlayerĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s induction into the Armed Forces, or his retirement, or his failure or refusal to perform, and the later date of his return to professional football. During the period this contract is tolled, Player will not be entitled to any compensation or benefits. On PlayerĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s return to professional football, the term of this contract will be extended for a period of time equal to the number of seasons (to the nearest multiple of one) remaining at the time the contract was tolled. The right of renewal, if any, contained in this contract will remain in effect until the end of any such extended term.