Welcome to MLR Deadline Week

Major League Rugby is in the business end of the season. The MLR business season is even closer to its end.

Major League Rugby has its first public Trade and Signing Deadline set for May 9th, 2022. While the league declined to announce the date, they slipped it onto their Trade Wire sometime in the last couple weeks.

The presence of a trade deadline in American sports is typical. No one wants to see teams selling off talent after their postseason chances are already in the coffin. However, the relatively late deadline is interesting. The NFL’s deadline is halfway through the season, while Major League Baseball’s deadline is the last day of July (four months into a six month regular season). On the contrary, the MLR is closing the transaction window after more than 75% of the season has passed. By the time the window closes, both New England and Austin could have already clinched playoff spots. How that impacts the economics of the deadline is yet to be seen.

The presence of a signing deadline is more than a bit surprising. In any other American sport, free agent players can sign with a team at any time. While this will prevent any teams from trying to get overseas professionals for the playoffs, the middle of the pack clubs are the winners here. Last year, with nothing to play for, the Giltinis signed several local club players to fulfill their Round 18 fixture and give veterans an de facto week off. Without that option, teams will be forced to use players that regularly make the team’s 23 even if they may not be in the preferred 15. Players without tons of rest facing players that ground their way into the bracket in the last week should be a thing of the past.

Whether or not the deadline will be active is yet to be seen. Stay with us over the next week to keep up on how it all unfolds.

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