Restricted Free Agent Deadline

Two NFL restricted free agents have offers from new teams that can be matched by their old teams through Friday, April 19.<p>

In the past week, restricted free agent offers were tendered by Denver to St. Louis running back JAMES HODGINS, and Kansas City to Chicago linebacker WARRICK HOLDMAN. The players' old clubs have until this Friday, April 19 at midnight to match the offers.

St. Louis and Chicago possess a right of first refusal only for Hodgins and Holdman, and would not receive draft choices in this weekend's NFL Draft if they do not match the respective offers.

Restricted free agents are players who have completed three accrued seasons of service and whose contracts have expired.

They received qualifying offers from their old clubs and were free to negotiate with any club from March 1, the start of the 2002 free-agency signing period, until April 15, at which time their rights reverted to their original club.

If a player accepted an offer from a new club, the old club had the right to match the offer and retain the player. If the old club elected not to match the offer, it could receive draft-choice compensation depending on the level of the qualifying offer made to the player.

One restricted free agent changed teams during the signing period. Kicker KRIS BROWN moved from Pittsburgh to Houston. As compensation, the Steelers received the first selection in the seventh round in this year's draft.

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