Couple days late on this, which I apologize for. Figured you might all be a little burnt out on lockout news.
So earlier this month I told you all about the "right of first refusal" proposal that NFL owners were making to the former players union. Essentially, this would give teams the chance to slap something resembling a transition tag on four-to-five free agents. Predictably, this went over among the players like flatulence in church.
So the owners stuck their collective old heads together and came up with another proposal, one that's less likely to face opposition from the players. It's also much more sensible, at least given what I've read from ESPN.
The new proposal would allow teams a 48-to072 hour exclusive negotiating window with their free agents. That includes both restricted and unrestricted free agents, and it would essentially give teams a leg up on keeping their own guys, assuming they're competent at negotiations. It's no guarantee that the teams could lock down their players, but it would give them a bit of a head start.
Given that the lockout has royally screwed up the free agency timeline, this can't possibly hurt. It gives a team like the Falcons a chance to sit down with free agents as varied as Harvey Dahl and Jason Snelling and make a pitch to retain their services. Players who are committed to testing free agency can feel free to blow these talks off, but at least the option's there. Overall, it seems a sensible solution—which startles me a little, when you consider how little sense both sides have been making throughout the process.
I take this as a good sign, if only a small one. What do you think of it, gentle readers?