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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
NFL Players Strike for Freedom, Bigger Voice
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

July 1, 1974

With negotiations having broken off over what NFL players term "freedom issues," they go on strike. The players are seeking a bigger voice in trades and switching to other teams when their contracts expire. The owners said the proposals amounted to "anarchy."

The players' major gripe is the "Rozelle Rule," which allows commissioner Pete Rozelle to set compensation when a player plays out his option and signs with another team.

"The basic issue is with the right of a player to move from one team to another when his contract expires," says Bill Curry, Houston Oilers center and the NFL Players' Association president. "We think he should have that right just as everyone else has."

Other "freedom issues" involve easing curfew restrictions at training camp and curbing the right of coaches and Rozelle to discipline players.

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