Tuesday, April 26, 2011

End of lockout could lock up Gaither for Ravens

Player reps around the league are instructing their teammates to report to work today yet the league is attempting to curb such player enthusiasm with fancy legalese such as an “expedited stay.”

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I have a firm grasp on what’s going on. What I do believe happened yesterday is that the players scored a proverbial run in a nine inning game and there are spectators that are still entering the “ballpark.”

In other words it’s far too early to declare winners.

That said, I’m happy to see that someone “scored” because in any competitive situation when there’s an action it usually invokes a reaction and ultimately it moves things closer to a conclusion.

Where things end up is anyone’s guess. Players may be gloating at the moment about a battlefield win and the owners may be licking their wounds but at the end of the day as fans we sit here and wonder why there was a war at all. This labor mess is pure insanity.

And the insanity might get a little worse.

Think about this…

If there is no lockout AND there is no CBA, chances are that the league will operate as it did in 2010 – as an uncapped year. Now for many players, the end of the lockout will not only open the doors to team facilities, it also opens the door to free agency.

But what about players like Jared Gaither? If the uncapped rules apply, the Ravens will control his destiny at least for the 2011 season.

If it becomes clear by the day of the 2011 NFL Draft (set to begin on Thursday night) that the lockout is over, might the Ravens slide offensive tackle down their list of draft needs a bit knowing they have Gaither as a 2011 ace in the hole?

Perhaps the same thinking can be applied to safety Dawan Landry and his pending free agency.

Let’s assume that Ozzie Newsome & Co. go into the draft and think they have a bead on Gaither and Landry but sometime in July for example, the players and owners agree to a new CBA that sets Gaither and Landry free?

Making those potential losses worse is a draft day strategy that assumed they would stick around per 2010 uncapped rules.


Perhaps with all of the labor uncertainty, this year more than any other before Ozzie should not deviate from his best player available approach. As we’ve seen in the past when he does (see Messrs. Boller, Taylor, Terry and Jenkins to name a few) it just doesn’t work out.


Corbin said...

why do I care?