Owners relent on the “right of first refusal” nonsense

The 3-day window for NFL teams to re-sign their own free agents is huge for the Jerry Reese and the Giants.

A few weeks ago, I wrote that the owners were trying to ruin free agency by pushing for the right to apply a “right of first refusal” on up to 3 or 4 of their unrestricted free agents.  This would allow NFL teams to match any offer their players might receive on the open market.  The owners reportedly lowered that number to 2 players, and then eventually abandoned the idea all together, per ESPN’s Chris Mortenson:

In fact, owners have now abandoned the right of first refusal issue on this year’s free agents. They’ll have 72-hour period to re-sign

This is excellent news for the Eagles and Redskins, who both have the cap space, the desire to make a big splash in the free agent waters, and just a few of their own key players to re-sign.

It’s scary news for the Cowboys, who should have one early objective and one early objective only – Re-sign Doug Free.  The Cowboys will not control Free’s destiny, a scary proposition, considering there are teams out there like the Tampa Bay Bucs and Kansas City Chiefs that are miles below the salary cap floor that HAVE TO (as opposed to “want to”) spend a lot in free agency just to get their payroll to the salary floor.  It’s rare that a good, healthy, 27-year-old, proven left tackle makes it to free agency, and at the risk of beating a dead horse, the Cowboys were insanely stupid not to franchise tag him.  Doug Free’s agent must be salivating.  The Cowboys of course will have that 72-hour window (per Mort’s tweet above) to get a deal done with Free, but Free and his agent would be foolish not to at least explore what offers might be waiting for him on the open market.

The Giants, meanwhile, have a slew of their own players that are free agents, such as Ahmad Bradshaw, Steve Smith, Kevin Boss, Deon Grant, Mathias Kiwanuka, Dave Tollefson, Chase Blackburn, Kevin Boothe, Keith Bullock, Barry Cofield, Derek Hagan, Gerris Wilkinson, and others.  Had the NFL just gone to a free agent free-for-all, that would have been an utter disaster for the Giants, who would have likely found it impossible to talk to so many players at once.  The 3-day window will give the Giants the opportunity to at least have a first crack at their long list of free agents, and slow down the process a bit.

6 Comments

  1. The Legend says:

    I read that the Giants can help themselves a lot by cutting Shawn Andrews but they are going to still have to cut more(wonder if Osi could be one if he still has issues with his contract? Doubt it though) if they want to sign Bradshaw & Smith since both are supposedly looking for big contracts. So my prediction is that one of them is wearing different colors next year.

    As for the Cowboys the only FAs I know off the top of my head are Free, Sensabaugh, & Kosier. I read that cutting Barber & Williams actually won’t help them that much & they will still have some of there money count against the cap. I won’t full out predict it but I won’t be surprised if Free heads somewhere else especially to a team that needs to spend.

    1. plektor says:

      I don’t see the Jints cuting Osi, we’d trade him if we have to.
      I guess we would get a 2nd round out of him.

  2. plektor says:

    This is gonna be wild.

    I can’t seem to find a salary cap status of all 32 franchises, would you have a link that’d be helpful ?

    1. Yeah, I looked for that a couple days ago, and couldn’t find it either. Someone will put it out there soon enough. For now, here’s something that’s not “salary cap,” per se, but should give you an idea of where each team stands:

      http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2011/2/8/1982592/expect-the-eagles-to-make-a-big-splash-in-free-agency

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