It's time for draft No. 216 of the MLS off-season, the Re-Entry Draft. Last season, a whole score of Rapids were available in the draft because of a bit cutting spree that the team went on early in the season. This time around, the off-season has been a bit more quiet at the start, and only three players are available.
Jamie Smith and Brian Mullan both had their options declined, but the Rapids are discussing options with both players. For Mullan, his return will likely have to come with a smaller salary, as he was paid over $170,000 this season for a back-up defensive role. This will be the second straight off-season of a declined contract for Smith, who went through a lengthy process of contract negotiation before he was re-signed for a far smaller salary this season. He only made six appearances during the season, scoring a goal against the Philadelphia Union before injuries and the rise of some youngsters knocked him off the depth chart.
The third player whose option was declined was Steward Ceus, who is essentially guaranteed not to return to the Rapids at this point.
In addition to those guys, there are a surprising number of former Rapids players who are on the list. From the 2010 cup-winning Rapids alone, you can find Wells Thompson, Colin Clark, Pablo Mastroeni, Andre Akpan, and of course, our old friend Mehdi Ballouchy. (Clark and Ballouchy totally both count as being on that team.)
It's worth noting that several of the players on the list are merely out of contract and might be re-signed by their respective teams, and players are allowed to opt out of the draft if they so choose. The Re-Entry Draft's first round will likely not feature all that much movement, so the real action will probably come on December 18th when the second round, and the chance to offer the players new contracts, comes.