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NFL Owners Abandon Right of First Refusal

As the finalization of a new CBA framework plods along, there were still some minor issues to resolve before the deal is finalized. One of the roadblock was the "Right of First Refusal" for four-year free agents, or what would be restricted free agents under the 2010 rules. Owners had wanted a "Right of First Refusal", which would have allowed them the option of matching the contract of a player who would normally be a 4th year restricted free agent.

According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, the NFL owners have conceded and abandoned the issue.

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 a key "win" for teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency, as it would have limited the free agent pool. It would have made it easy for teams to retain their players, as other teams essentially do the negotiations for them.