League Announcement

2021 MLS Free Agency Rules & Procedures

Four days after the 2021 MLS Cup, teams can begin engaging with players via the league’s Free Agency process in preparation for the 2021 season. Eligible players are 24 years of age and older with five MLS service years and are out of contract or have had their option declined. This allows players the freedom to negotiate a new contract with any MLS club, including their previous team, subject to certain restrictions.

Key dates:

  • Nov. 30: Option Exercise Deadlines on Tuesday, Nov. 30 for non-postseason teams and for postseason teams one day after elimination: Clubs must notify the League Office in writing of (1) players whose options they are exercising and/or (2) players who are receiving bona fide offers, announced by the teams.
  • Dec. 13: MLS Communications will make available the complete list of Free Agents on Monday, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. ET.
  • Dec. 15: On Wednesday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. ET, clubs may engage players–other than their own–who are eligible for Free Agency.

Key parameters:

  • There is no limit on the number of Free Agents a team may sign each year.
  • Out of Contract Players who receive a bona fide offer from his current team can still participate in Free Agency.
  • Free Agent Players may re-sign with their current team at any compensation subject to league approval in its discretion at any time prior to the beginning of Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft (Thursday, Dec. 23 at 1 p.m. ET).