Along with Sega's name being called, the Fire also declined the options of Corben Bone and Jay Nolly. Although I was surprised myself at first when I saw Sega's name, after seeing all the discussions about the decision, I can see the sense of all 3 decisions.
In Segares' case, we all can admit he has lost a step and is heading towards the wrong side of 30. Despite that, he is one of the better LB's in the league. Most teams would gladly welcome him given the chance. Given the fact that we have Hunter Jumper (who is not close to being an MLS ready starting LB yet), and not much else for depth, many fans were scratching their head on this one. If Dan Gargan stays, he could slip over to LB, but that's not ideal for the team. If Segares' time in Chicago has ended, I look for Frank to fill the big hole with a trade or signing, and supplant that with a SuperDraft pick.
As many have speculated, the main reason for the Fire declining Sega's option is money. He is making over $200,000 per year. For a player seemingly on a slow decline, and not getting any younger, that's a pretty hefty salary. All is not lost yet. The Fire could still conceivably keep Sega if he doesn't end up working out a deal with another team. There are bound to be potential suitors, but the question will always be money. If the smoke clears and Segares is still there, the Fire could re-negotiate his contract, therefore keeping him at less money. It would be a win-win for the Fire, but how much less in Segares willing to take? This is certainly a risky move for the Fire. If it works, it will be quite a shrewd tactic that will save some cash to put towards bolstering the squad. If it doesn't work, then we cannot fail to get the hole filled properly. Frank has to get something done in this case.
I think we can all agree that it has been a pleasure to have Gonzalo pull on that Fire jersey for so many years. He brought a welcome toughness to the team. If he has played his final game in Fire red, I personally wish him the best and thank him for his time.
Going on to Corben Bone, as I mentioned in my midfield analysis, this is a move that was pretty obvious to me. He is already making $100,000, and getting ready to come off his Generation Adidas status. He has always had quality midfield options in front of him, thus negating Corben ever getting a real shot with the Fire. Yes, he did play a bit here and there, but not enough to really see what we had. He deserves to have a fair shot, and it's clear he won't get that in Chicago. And we will save a chunk of money in the process. Honestly, at this point I think a change of scenery is best for both parties.
There's not much to say on Nolly. We have 2 quality goalkeepers in front of him. Letting him go is a no-brainer too. He's making $78,000 per year to be there for depth. We can find a 3rd string keeper for much less. I would suspect that Nolly will be picked up for depth (or maybe even to challenge for a starting spot) by another team. There are at least a few teams out there that need help in the goalkeeping department. Thankfully the Fire are not one of those teams.
Round 1 of the Re-Entry draft will take place on Friday, December 7th, followed by Round 2 on Friday, December 14th. Per the Fire's official website:
"Clubs must exercise the option for, or extend a Bona Fide Offer to, all players selected in Stage 1. Players that were out of contract may either accept or reject the Bona Fide Offer. Should a player reject the offer, the drafting club will hold the right of first refusal for that player in MLS. Players with option years left on their contract will automatically be added to the drafting club’s roster."
Here is the draft order:
1. Toronto FC
2. Chivas USA
5. Philadelphia Union
7. FC Dallas
10. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
11. Chicago Fire
12. Real Salt Lake
16. Seattle Sounders FC
17. D.C. United
18. Houston Dynamo
19. LA Galaxy
And finally, here are the rules and timeline for the draft.