New Possible One-Year Rule Changes Post-Lockout

Once the NFL and NFLPA reach a new collective bargaining agreement, the league is considering possible one-year rule changes to make up for the loss of a normal offseason, Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reports.

One such rule change, which figures to delight NFL general managers and player agents, is to increase training camp rosters to 90 players.

“I don’t know anyone in my position who wouldn’t support it,” one NFL general manager told La Canfora. “We’d love to be able to bring 90 in (for training camp). And from the players’ side, it’s more opportunities for them.”

Teams used to be able to use NFL Europe roster exemptions to carry additional players into training camp. When the NFL shut that operation down, the league opted not to adopt the Competition Committee’s proposal for an 86-man roster.

Player costs is often cited as the reason roster levels have remained at 80.

Another possible change, one that the league is pushing for, comes from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, who tells 101 ESPN in St. Louis that the league is pushing for teams to have three or four “right of first refusals” on their unrestricted free agents.

Such a measure would seriously deplete the bargaining power for these free agents, many of whom were already denied the opportunity to test the open market in 2010. Teams will be reluctant to pursue a player if they know that his former team can match any offer, which would essentially mean they’re doing their opponents negotiating for them.

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