Every owner, who has played one full season in the league, has the right and opportunity to protect ONE player from their roster for the following years' draft. All protected players cannot be acquired on DraftDay via the normal selection process and they will be identified & officialized as such on the website at 2017 * Sept 5th, 7 PM [one hour prior].
If a roster is VOIDED, any access to your roster is lost, but any player may be reacquired during the draft.

If owners do not submit a Protection Status, their previous seasons roster will thus be automatically VOIDED.
Likewise, once protected players are officialized, they may not be retracted after 6 PM.
Plan your strategies well!

Each protected player will correspond with the first round # designated to that particular team. Each Franchised player will correspond with the second round.
Protection is optional. You may disregard this procedure if you value a better prospect in the draftpool or figure a desired player may be released by a different team.
Once protection is VOIDED, all privledges to your roster is lost, but any player may be reacquired during the draft.

FREE AGENCY: A player may not be protected by a team for more than two continuous years {unless franchised }.
Ex. Kareem Hunt is drafted initially by the 'Tempests' in year 1. The 'Tempests' may protect him once or twice {year 2 or both years 2 & 3}. In Year 4, Kareem earns Free Agent Status and must be released into the draftpool. Peterson may still be drafted by the Tempests, but now everyone has a fair shot at him. If the Tempests reacquire Hunt, they have an opportunity to renew his protection status for two more years [thus becoming a free agent in Year 7}.
Trading a player away will not negate free agency regardless on what team that player is currently on.