With preseason rosters being released by all 12 of the NWSL teams, it’s time to take a look back at how the NWSL’s first go at partial free agency went. Overall, there were 45 players eligible for free agency heading after the November 15th deadline for teams to announce the extending of new contracts, contract options that were extended, and players waived.
Of the 45 players, 23 re-signed with the same team which they were playing with prior to entering free agency, and 12 players signed to new teams, meaning 76.8 percent of players did re-sign contracts in the NWSL for 2023. The player who made the biggest splash in free agency was Brazilian national Debinha who had played with North Carolina since 2017 but signed a contract with the Kansas City Current through 2024 with an option through 2025.
Of the remaining 10, one signed to the Australian W-League, one retired, seven players have yet to sign with any team (including the two players who gave birth in the last year, Julie Ertz and Kealia Watt), and one is a non-roster invitee (NRI) for a different team than they were playing with prior (Domi Richardson).
Looking at the contracts signed for the 35 players who are still playing in the NWSL this year, there is an interesting trend comparing the contract length between players who switched teams and those who stayed. Two years and longer guaranteed contracts made up 65.7 percent of the contracts extended, with NJ/NY Gotham FC and North Carolina being the only teams to offer three years guaranteed.
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