We're only a couple of days into the lockout and the speculation about the season is already flying. Might as well tackle it, I guess.
The Washington Post is reporting that the players are seeking an injunction in court that would kick-start the season, something we've all heard by now. What's noteworthy about the report is that it indicates that the NFL may have no salary cap in 2011, and that all those restricted free agent tenders that wouldn't stick under a new CBA may survive. That would mean the Falcons would welcome back Jason Snelling, whether he wants to return or not.
There are a lot of implications to that. Your cheap owners won't have to carry any minimum payroll, and Jerry Jones can shoot his silver revolvers in the air in joy, because the Cowboys can carry as many fat contracts as they'd like. Of course, what you'll likely see is teams playing it safe, because a new CBA could make a heavy payroll a gigantic liability. Not a huge change there.
The RFA change, which would limit unrestricted free agency to those with six years of service time or more is much more significant. It will allow teams to keep the young players they really want for at least one more year, which could allow the Falcons to keep their offensive line relatively intact in 2011. On the flip side, it would also allow rivals like the Buccaneers and Saints to keep their talent, which isn't great news.
Debate the merits of this report and this approach. It's as good a theory as any.