With a lockout, teams are not allowed to contact its players and vice versa. That means players and coaches cannot discuss playbooks, no Organized Team Activities (OTAs), no trades or free agent signings and team facilities are closed to players (including injured players rehabing with the team's medical staff). These are all significant restrictions, particularly for teams with new head coaches and coordinators.
The 2011 NFL Draft will go on as scheduled on April 28-30, but the rookies will not be able to practice with their new team, receive a playbook or sign a contract until a new CBA is reached.
With the regularity of the NFL off season now thrown for a loop with this lockout, here is how each team is equipped to weather a prolonged NFL lockout.
The Andrew Luck contenders:
Another top 15 draft pick coming:
Teams muddled in the middle:
St. Louis Rams: The Rams have the look of an up and coming team. That could be tempered a bit by the arrival of new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. The former Denver Broncos head coach will bring his vast playbook to St. Louis, which will be hard to teach without off season practices. The Rams do have one of the brightest young stars at quarterback in Sam Bradford, so learning a new offense shouldn't be too hard for him. However, I expect growing pains early in the season and look for Steven Jackson to carry the load early on. As for the Rams defense, head coach Steve Spagnuolo already has a system in place and his defense is young.
Super Bowl contenders: