Redskins' to-do list is expanding

Redskins' to-do list is expanding
April 27, 2011, 10:57 am
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 7:00 a.m. By Rich Tandler
Redskins Blogger
CSNwashington.com We all know the feeling at work. A critical deadline is rapidly approaching. Your to-do list to prepare for that deadline should be shrinking. But instead of getting smaller that list is growing. Each time the clock ticks off another hour closer to the deadline, more crucial work gets piled on. Mike Shanahan, Bruce Allen, and the rest of the Washington Redskins coaches and scouts know that feeling well right about now. Getting ready for the draft, which starts tomorrow night at 8:00 p.m., is challenging enough. Now, however, the ruling by Judge Susan Nelson lifting the lockout has increased the workload at Redskins Park exponentially. Not only are they running through various what if scenarios regarding what might happen as the draft unfolds, making and fielding phone calls to set up potential trades of draft position, and keeping an ear out for any information that could affect a players draft status, they have to keep an eye on the Judge Nelsons Minnesota courtroom. After seeing arguments from both sides today, Judge Nelson is expected to give some guidance to the league and to the players as to how they should proceed. One of the possibilities is that she will say that the NFL has to open its league year effective immediately, which would have the draft and free agency starting on the same day. While getting ready for free agency on top of preparing for the draft, they will face uncertainty as to what the rules will be. Most of the talk has been that the league would use 2010 rules, with no salary cap and six years needed to become an unrestricted free agent. But that is not certain. They could put into place their last offer to the players back in early March, which would have a cap and four years of experience needed to become a free agent. While it is likely that the league has communicated some details to the teams that arent being shared with the public, things are probably far from settled. The uncertainty of the labor situation means that trades of players for 2011 draft picks may or may not be able to take place. Teams have been prohibited from even discussing potential draft trades involving players so if the market is opened up teams will have to put together deals in a hurry. And on top of all of that, Shanahan will be holding his mandatory pre-draft media availability today. He will be dodging questions and perhaps throwing out a few last-minute smokescreens today at 1:30 at Redskins Park. (Well have all of the details right here on CSNwashington.com). Certainly, nobody should feel bad for the Redskins. After all, these guys get six- and seven-figure salaries to deal with the unexpected. And every other NFL team is in the same boat. The teams that are best prepared and to think quickly will be the ones who come out on top is this situation. After the past decade or so, the Redskins should be used to chaos so in some ways this is business as usual. If the free agency market is declared open for business sometime in the next several days, the next two weeks will be critical to the immediate future of the franchise with eight draft picks (possibly more or fewer depending on trades), a pool of undrafted free agents and anywhere from a couple of hundred to five hundred free agents to choose from. Finding the right players to help the team improve will go a long way towards defining the success of Shanahans tenure as the Redskins head coach. Check out theNFL Buzz Blog for the latest on the Redskins, the draft and the lockout situation. CSNwashington.com will be bringing you full coverage of the NFL draft live from Radio City Music Hall in New York. Our coverage will feature Rich Tandler's Marathon Draft Chat, starting at 7:30 on Thursday and staying live for every pick of the draft. Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins atwww.RealRedskins.com. You can reach Rich by email atRTandlerCSN@comcast.net and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.