“Right Of First Refusal” The NFL Owners Love, But The Players Don’t…I Think It’s Good For The Players!

Posted: July 15, 2011 in NFL

So the big sticking point in the NFL – they’ve pretty much figured out the income and the revenue in the NFL. Owners and players are pretty close on that. We are getting now – like any negotiation, almost like a divorce, down to one or two sticking points and here’s the biggy, at least that’s what the media says, free agency. The NFL and the Owners, the teams, want something called a “right of first refusal” for up to 3 players. Up to 3 players on a team, it use to be one – called the “franchise tag” the players use to love that, but then they realized it’s not so good.

Never forget, whether it’s a divorce or any negotiation – what you think is good is not always good and year’s later…it’s not! The NFL players loved the franchise tag, where a team could take one guy and he couldn’t go anywhere. Peyton Manning, Tom Brady we’re franchise tagged, their teams told them that they couldn’t go anywhere because they had to pay them an average salary of the top 5 players at their position. So New England could tell Tom Brady “we’re not going to make you the highest paid QB, but we’ll take the 5 highest paid QB’s – what’s their average salary, for a year we’ll pay you that”. Its called being “franchise tagged” The players fought for it and they loved it…but now they hate it!

The new argument of what the owners want – and what the players say they don’t like and I honestly don’t think it’s that bad for the players. Teams want the “right of 1st refusal” for up to 3 players. Quarterback, Middle linebacker, Star Receiver etc. The owners and the teams want the ability – that if you get an amazing offer, if they [your current team] give you the same offer – so if they equal the offer, you can’t go anywhere. I honestly don’t think it’s that bad for the players – you’re not losing a penny. With the former “franchise tag” only being given to one player – you could lose money. This is because a team didn’t have to give you the best salary – and I’ll give you an example.

Say you’re a sports talk radio guy working at ESPN – if another network came to you and offered you a ton and say ESPN matches it, then you can’t go anywhere. Some of you might have a problem with that others might not. You might not have wanted to move – if people would’ve paid you, you probably would’ve stayed in your previous job before this one. In most instances, if a company can equal what you’re being paid by ESPN – people generally don’t want to move their family and athletes don’t want to move their families. I mean, there are very few NFL cities that you don’t want to live in – Green Bay is a little small, but I’d say its fine. You probably wouldn’t live there year round anyways; you rent a house and go live in Florida during the off-season.

But the new thing the players reportedly are stuck on is this 3 player thing where they’re being told that they can’t go anywhere if their team comes in and says “we’ll pay you what the other team offered”. First off all, I think the fans win because you don’t want to lose star players – that’s not good for teams, so the fans win. It’s good for owners, obviously, to be able to keep their star players and its good for the league because leagues are generally better if your star’s stay with one team. You want Tom Brady to be a Patriot forever – I mean, Favre moving around is not bad; Lebron moving around is not bad. But it’s probably better that Kobe stay in LA and doesn’t go to Memphis…generally speaking. The players – and this is why I think it’s not a terrible deal for the players…you don’t lose any money!

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Comments
  1. Mike Crack says:

    While as a fan I’d like it, I can see why the players would not. While the money is nice, some players simply want to go to a different organization. I guess what it is going back to the days of non-free agency for those select players who would be given this new tag. If this whole thing does go through, I’m guessing they’ll have to make sure there are poison pill contracts that are signed e.g. the poison pill the Vikings signed Steve Hutchinson to after the Seahawks transition tagged him (Seahawks had 7 days to match any potential contract) where if he was not the highest paid offensive lineman on his team, then his entire contract would be guaranteed. Walter Jones was arguably the best LT in the league at that time, and his contract was richer than the proposed one for Hutch. Seattle didn’t want to guarantee Hutch’s entire contract, so they didn’t match it and Hutch went to Minny.

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