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A Big What If: No 2011 Season?

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With a potential lockout looming large, I have noticed a good bit of chatter about the owners and players and money and whatnot. These are all very valid points, but one thing that hasn't really been tossed around is if no football is played this year.

I've seen some comments about that, but all those comments go straight back to the owners wanting money. I agree that's a big part of it, but I have to ask this question:

If we don't play football in 2011, what will that do to our veterans like McClure, Abraham, and even Turner??

Join me after the jump and let's consider what might happen.

The thought occurred to me recently and, in the case of some of our more important veterans, it terrified me. Turner just turned 29 a couple days ago and I've been adamant about him being a step slower lately. Another year of him doing nothing could lead to anything.

I don't think I need to tell you that Abe is already a granddad and McClure is actually Santa. But what happens if all of the NFL takes a year off? All of those players are a year older and, while they might be refreshed, their bodies might break down unless they keep themselves in shape, and not all NFL players have the best self control when it comes to workouts that aren't mandatory.

I think this is one of the more serious issues facing the league, and I don't think it's being talked about enough. The players will not back down from their desire to remain at 16 games (and rightfully so) so I hope that's not the straw holding the whole bargain up because then we may have a serious problem.

I'm not sure how teams would hold workouts (or if they'd even be allowed to, though to be honest I have enough faith in this team that the coaches and FO will mandate some kind of workouts to keep everyone in shape) or what they'll do. They might even infiltrate the UFL, but I don't think it's fair to those guys to pretty much run them out of their own league.

At this level, the highest level, a body that goes totally out of shape will be nearly impossible to bring back into shape. While I think that most of the pro guys will take care of business, some could derail their careers because they slacked on their workouts since they pretty much have little reason to workout that year.

If that happens, who is to blame? Is it the players' for wanting to keep their fellow player safe and at as low an injury risk as possible? Or is it the owners' fault for wanting a bigger piece of the cake since ticket prices and stadium prices have jumped? Do both sides have a legitimate claim to say the other is at fault?

What do you all think? If no football is played in 2011 (God forbid.) what could happen to some of our veterans? Could we end up losing McClure and Abe to retirement because this could be their last year? Who do you think would be at fault if no football is played? I gotta say, I look forward to hearing all of your opinions about this!