How will the lockout affect the Redskins?

How will the lockout affect the Redskins?
March 14, 2011, 11:50 am
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Monday, March 14, 2011 8:00 a. m.

By Rich Tandler

The quick take: No resolution to the lockout means no resolution to the quarterback situation. Donovan McNabb remains a member of the Redskins and the team cannot move on to finding their new QB of the future.
Any plans the team had to try to improve the team in free agency are on hold and they dont know what players they will lose in free agency. The rules for who can become a free agent are unknown at this point.
Although the draft will take place as scheduled, no resolution to the lockout means that there will be no contact with drafted players. Undrafted players will be in limbo until lockout ends. The long-anticipated NFL lockout is upon us. It could last a few days if a judge grants a quick injunction or it could last well into the fall if the legal system does not order the teams to open up their doors. Unless the dispute is resolved in short order, all NFL teams will be affected. How could a work stoppage affect the Washington Redskins? Lets look at a few different factors. Quarterback It always seems to be about the quarterback with the Redskins and this situation is no different. The lockout prevents any resolution to the status of Donovan McNabb. Players cannot be released and the only trades that will be allowed would involve draft picks for draft picks so McNabb will remain a member of the Redskins until deals are permitted. The other two quarterbacks in the system are John Beck, who is under contract for 2011, and Rex Grossman, who is not. Neither one of them can work out at the facility or get coaching from Kyle Shanahan or quarterbacks coach Matt LaFleur. Any workouts with their receivers will have to take place on an area high school field as the players cant enter Redskins Park. On top of all of that, the Redskins search for a quarterback of the future will remain on hold. They will not be able to trade for a signal caller or to sign one in free agency. In April they will be able to draft one but from the moment the card with the name of the player is submitted to the league in Radio City Music Hall they will not be able to contact their new player in any way. Free agency The Redskins had cleared a substantial amount of salary cap space in anticipation of being able to fill some of their many needs in the free agency market. The annual shopping spree was scheduled to start on March 4 but first the extension to the talks put it on hold and now the lockout has it in the deep freeze. Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe did come on board at the last minute but he barely had time to gain any insight into the workings of the Redskins defense. If he got any knowledge at all he will be ahead of anyone else the team might sign whenever free agency starts. Those players will be playing catch up all spring and summer. Along with every other team, the Redskins dont even know for sure who will be a free agent. If there is a CBA agreement, it is likely that the rules for becoming a free agent will go back to what they were through 2009, when a player could be an unrestricted free agent after four years in the league. In the uncapped 2010 season, a player needed six years of service to be eligible for unfettered free agency. There is talk now that if the lockout ends due to a court injunction, the NFL would continue with the 2010 rules. Players such as Rocky McIntosh, who has five years of service, would be unrestricted free agents under the old rules but restricted under the 2010 setup. The draft There will be a draft starting on April 28; that was written into the just-expired CBA. The labor situation, however, may upset the usual order of things. While there is likely to be a free agency period at some point in time, that time may not be until after the draft. If that happens, the Redskins will have some very interesting choices to make. Should they figure that free agent cornerback Carlos Rogers will sign with another team? If so, cornerback could be a priority in the draft. Will Santana Moss stay or go? They probably would like to get a wide receiver at some point in the draft but if Moss is not going to be back there certainly would be a greater need there. And, as noted above, if there is no settlement prior to the draft the Redskins will not be able to have any contact with the players they draft. They will sit in limbo until the lockout ends. There will be no rookie minicamp, as most teams have a week or so after the draft, and no playbooks will be distributed. Undrafted free agents will be in worse shape. There will be no signing of players whose names are not called at the draft. They will be unable to move on with their lives until the league and the players reach a resolution. Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at You can reach him by email at