SFL Communications

November 17, 2021

The Simulation Football League presented by APM Music has finalized the Winter 2021 Rookie Draft order as it prepares for another exciting off-season. The league will be expanding rosters from 20-23 players for Season 18 and to start the off-season, teams voted 20-4 that all players will count against an adjusted salary cap. Other terms of the agreement will be voted on early in owner meetings before other topics are discussed.

Tulsa will receive the No. 1 overall pick in the Rookie Draft, which will take place later than usual this off-season – for the first time after Christmas, Thursday December 30. The Draft will resume and conclude Saturday January 1 with a Season 18 kickoff date just two weeks later – January 15. Owners will have a call to discuss ballot matters Sunday November 28 before votes come in. It was previously announced that re-signing would get rolling before the end of the month. Due to delays in owner meetings related to the Commissioner’s wedding, re-signing is now slated to start Monday December 6, with free agency getting rolling Monday December 13.

“With Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays plus the unique event of my wedding out-of-state, it felt best to push back signing’s start just a little bit,” said Commissioner Cameron Irvine. “With automation, teams can build their roster faster than ever and the off-seasons in 2022 and beyond will be shorter anyway as a result. There’s no need to rush. The league’s top priority is to ensure all of our players a smooth signing process after improvements are made to our automation portal, just like last season and that team ownership has ample time to spend with families and away from any lengthy calls or critical discussions.”

Sioux Falls will pick 2nd, followed by Fort Worth, D.C. and Jacksonville to round out the Top 5. Tiebreakers for draft selections follow the same rules that determine postseason participants and teams who advance through the playoffs receive a lower-valued pick than teams who lose early. Records and tiebreakers determine seeding for teams who lose in the same round. Denver will pick 6th, followed by San Diego (7th), Carolina (8th), Houston (9th), Portland (10th), Lone Star (11th) and Louisiana (12th). Teams defeated in the Wild Card round include St. Louis (13th), London (14th), Los Angeles (15th) and Queen City (16th) – followed by Las Vegas (17th), Charleston (18th), Vancouver (19th), Atlanta (20th), Arizona (21st), Mexico City (22nd), Florida (23rd) and the Season 17 Champion Baltimore (24th). The amount of rounds in this season’s draft will depend upon open positions after free agency. There will be a record 552 spots in the SFL available for Season 18.

The league is growing its calendar to two, 14-week regular seasons (adding two bye weeks for each team) with expanded automation capabilities helping the off-season transaction process go smoother. The league’s Dynamic Stats project will integrate players stats from their previous game, season, career and in-game statistics seamlessly into television broadcasts in 2022 and the bye weeks are meant to help coaches, broadcasters and league personnel better manage the intense workloads the season can result in. Players will progress during bye weeks.

Phase 2 of the automation will get underway later this month, with the league improving back-end functionality for administrators to more quickly make corrections. The SFLm will be added to the process, allowing the league to start a player’s progression on the portal from the beginning of their career. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the SFLm’s current season in December. The Season 18 schedule is set to release Thursday December 16.

Other important dates this off-season will include SFL Honors voting (November 30-December 2), SFL Honors + All-Star Roster reveal (December 4), the SFL All-Star Game (December 18) and the SFLm Playoffs (semifinals 12/22 and Championship 12/29). The league will also for the first time host a re-signing recap show December 12, getting fans ready for an all-day live stream on the first day of free agency (December 13). The show will welcome in executives and players who make headlines as teams, players and fans around the league react to the breaking news.

The league can also confirm the weekend of the 2022 Convention as July 23-24 at a city to be determined. Winter seasons will now start the third week of January with summer seasons getting underway the second weekend of every July.

Complete Fall-Winter 2021 off-season calendar, sorted by date of event:

SFLm, Week 5 Saturday November 20
SFLm, Week 6 Saturday November 27
Owner Meeting Call Sunday November 28
SFL Honors Voting Tues/Thu November 30-Dec. 2
SFLm, Week 7 Friday December 3
SFL Honors + ASG Roster Saturday December 4
Re-signing period Monday December 6
SFLm, Week 8 Saturday December 11
Re-signing recap show Sunday December 12
Free agency period Monday December 13
Free agency show Monday December 13
Schedule Release Thursday December 16
SFL, Week 9 Friday December 17
SFL All-Star Game Saturday December 18
SFLm semifinals Wednesday December 22
SFLm Championship Wednesday December 29
Rookie Draft Thurs/Sat December 30 & Jan. 1
Rosters Lock Tuesday January 4
Playbooks Due Saturday January 8