Chris Mortensen of ESPN told 101 ESPN in St. Louis that, once the free-agency frenzy commences, the owners want to have a right of first refusal as to three or four players per team. This would operate essentially as the transition tag, which provides a right to match but no compensation. And, in cases where the current team chooses to match, it means that the team that pursued the player negotiated his new contract with his old team at no charge.
From an NFC East perspective, this would be a major blow to the Eagles, who have the cap space, and, from their own mouths, the want to be extremely aggressive in free agency.
Conversely, this proposed wrinkle would greatly benefit the Giants, who have the following players set to become free agents: Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Mathias Kiwanuka, Barry Cofield, Chase Blackburn, Kevin Boothe, Keith Bullock, Deon Grant, Derek Hagan, and Dave Tollefson. In a “free-for-all” situation, it would be very difficult for the Giants to corral all the players they’re interested in keeping, but the right of first refusal would settle down free agency for them.
Also of interest from PFT’s post:
Howard Balzer of 101 ESPN tells us that teams that didn’t apply the franchise tag to players with four or five years of service want to have the chance to do so.
This would be of immense benefit to the Cowboys, who stupidly did not place the franchise tag on Doug Free back in February. I’d be shocked if Jerry Jones wasn’t spearheading this nonsense. I covered this yesterday, and noted that there’s no way in hell the Cowboys should be bailed out here, as 10 other NFL teams knew full well to use their franchise tags on players that were eligible for a lesser RFA tender back in February, listed here:
|Player||Yrs in NFL||Team|
The upcoming free agency period was shaping up to be perhaps the most interesting and fun free agency period in the history of the NFL. The owners are apparently doing their best to ruin it.