There is a lot of talk about the CBA these days. In fact, I have heard more about the CBA in the last week than I have about the two Super Bowl contending teams. Did you know that today the NFL will announce it’s HOF class of 2011? They will. And the announcement will come likely following yet another presser regarding the CBA or a grandstanding moment by DeMaurice Smith. Roger Goodell had his moment yesterday.
What this means is this. The CBA won’t likely get ratified by the March 4th deadline and there will be a delay in the start of free agency and the league new year. Which means, as I have said many times on this site, there won’t be any player movement and the NFL Draft is the only thing on the horizon that will give you some real football news that doesn’t start with CBA.
The news isn’t all that bad though. Especially if your a team like the Miami Dolphins who need a QB. And if your one of those, “make a trade for ????” then you may be happy to learn that the CBA issues, may actually make that prospect a little more possible.
Let’s assume for a minute that the labor discord ends on March 3rd and the NFL moves forward with the free agent period as normal for 2011. The Dolphins are expected to be major players with the revelation that Stephen Ross, the Phins owner, has opened his checkbook to get a competitive team. Where are you going to find a QB?
Kevin Kolb of Philadelphia, Kyle Orton of Denver, and Vince Young of Tennessee have garnered the most conversations regarding trades. There is one caveat though. Neither player will come to Miami for anything less than a second round pick which they don’t have and are not guaranteed of having come draft day. So the Dolphins won’t pull any March to April blockbuster trades that won’t include their first round pick at 15 and none of those QB’s are worth a first round pick even with the other teams second rounder thrown in for good measure. And no team is going to trade with Miami to move up to 15 prior to the draft so that Miami can move down in round 1 and pick up that 2nd round pick they lack. So forget about the 2nd round pick.
The Dolphins need that first round pick.
Now, free agency will provide the team an opportunity to add players to various holes but QB won’t be found in that pile. Not a half way decent one with promise. Trade is the only real option outside of the draft and we all know that the draft doesn’t always work the way you want.
Now, let’s assume that there is no March free agency and the Dolphins can’t trade a pick for a player. They go to the draft in April, they either make their first round pick or move down and gain a second, they draft that player, maybe a QB and they fill roster spots with players that they get out of the draft.
But the CBA will get done. And it likely will get done sometime in June or July which will put pressure on the NFL to have an abbreviated Free Agent period…which means that now, teams can fill their roster spots with players that they didn’t get in the draft.
How does that help Miami? Because on the Sunday after the draft, the Dolphins will have their second round pick back. As in their 2012 2nd round pick. Suddenly all of those QB’s become worth a 2nd rounder the following year. Especially when you know you have a full season to get that pick back.
It will also be difficult for those new QB’s to learn new systems that late in the game but few teams will be willing to swing at that pitch. Miami is one that very well could be looking for that veteran QB who has upside. So it might make sense to pull the trade after the draft if the CBA doesn’t get done before it.
Ideally, the NFL and the NFLPA need to get the new labor agreement done before March 4th as the league could lose billions of ad revenue and teams will start losing money from season ticket renewals. But in the event that a CBA is not done, a team like Miami who needs a second round pick may find themselves an opportunity to add by losing another one the following year.
As they say, “A bird in the hand is worth TWO in the bush”. I know, it’s lame, but it is true.