Watching ESPN last night, I was getting the impression that the owners' request for a right of first refusal was throwing a major wrench in the current negotiations. Here's a recap of an earlier ESPN report from Stampede Blue:
The owners are requesting some sort of 'right of first refusal' with several unsigned free agents, or players who will become free agents when the new CBA is signed.
The players are digging in and saying no, and I don't blame them.
I don't know if this is an every year exception, but it looks like it will just be for one year and will effect three players per team. So I'm not as worried about this problem, if it's a rule just for 2011. But I understand why the players don't want it because it will help owners who didn't re-sign their players while they could, and it will depress the money players will receive in the upcoming, and shortened, free agency period. On the other hand, I can see why the owners want it for that very reason. It sounds like something they can compromise on.
Another problem that came up is the rookie wage scale and the absence of the federal mediator, who's going on vacation. But with the players now set to receive between 46-48 percent of revenue, which is what I've always felt was the biggest issue, I think they can work these out.