Certainly more news will be made about the possibility of an uncapped year and expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement in the offseason but, for now, some players who stand to miss out on unrestricted free agency are coming to light.
Basically, if a new agreement between NFL players and owners is not reached before the end of February (the start of the new league year), 2010 will run without a salary cap. If this happens, a plethora of rules go into affect that allow teams to retain players for longer. For example, the tenure needed to enter unrestricted free agency — the open market — increases.
That means more than 200 players will be restricted free agents, giving their current teams the right of first refusal or draft pick compensation from any team that signs them away.
ESPN.com reported Thursday seven Falcons fall into this category: Tackle Tyson Clabo, guart Harvey Dahl, safety Jamaal Fudge, punter Michael Koenen, running back Jerious Norwood, guard Quinn Ojinnaka and safety Charlie Peprah (more on this and the list of other NFL players, here).
“The players that have worked hard and got to this point in their careers, need to be able to go out and see what they are worth on the market,” Clabo told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Those players deserve a chance to go do that. It will be very, very unfortunate for all of us if we are not allowed that opportunity.”
Stay tuned on this, but I wouldn’t expect anything heavy until the season concludes.