The National Football League has scheduled an owners meeting for Thursday here to vote on the man who will replace Pete Rozelle as commissioner, with Jim Finks, general manager of the New Orleans Saints, the apparent front-runner.

Late Thursday, Finks' chief - though unofficial - rival for the post, Jack Kemp, withdrew from consideration, NFL sources said.Kemp, a former quarterback, congressman and now President Bush's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, declined to be interviewed for the job and did not encourage his friends among the owners to campaign for him.