With the Union's declaration that they would not play an 18-game regular season, and the league trying every possible way to not fully open their finances to inspection, the lockout is once again looming.
If the clock finally strikes midnight and a full-fledged lockout begins, how will teams react? Will teams be capable of weathering several months where management has no influence over their players? Will steroid use become rampant among players? Will we see a spike in poor off-field decisions?
The last two times that the league experienced a work stoppage, the Redskins went on to win the Super Bowl. Sadly, with the amount of turnovers the Redskins will most likely experience this offseason (if there ever is an offseason) as well as weaknesses in personnel all over the roster, things are not looking too rosy in D.C. right now.
So if football armageddon arrives and a lockout begins, what will be the effects upon the Burgundy & Gold?
Sexy Rexy! Sexy Rexy! Sexy Rexy! I can hear it now. The jubilant crowd at FedEx Field cheering Rex Grossman off the field after putting up 500 yards and four touchdowns in the season opener...
Sorry about that, apparently prolonged exposure to paint fumes (I'm refinishing my bathroom) can cause hallucinations. Anyways, where were we? Oh right...Sexy Rexy, it just rolls off the tongue doesn't it?
If a lockout occurs and coaches are unable to meet with their players for a prolonged period of time, that means that new players (rookies, free agents) will not have as much time to learn their team's offensive and defensive systems.
With Donovan Mcnabb on his way out, that leaves two quarterbacks on the roster, and I can guarantee that John Beck won't be handed the reins, so who does that leave? Rex Grossman. '
Skins fans prepare yourself. If you thought that watching Grossman close out last season was painful (I equated it with passing a kidney stone while being dropped on my ass from a second story window) get ready for a whole season of it, unless of course...
With the aforementioned inability of coaching staffs to meet with their players in the offseason, more teams will shy away from picking a quarterback in this year's draft and will instead look to address other needs, leaving Newton sitting on the board when the Redskins are on the clock with the 10th pick.
Newton is not an NFL-level quarterback. His footwork is average at best, his accuracy questionable and his intangibles? I'll give him credit, the kid isn't easily phased, leading Auburn to a national title with the entire media world just waiting for a chance to jump at his jugular the second they finally could verify that he knew his father tried to squeeze money out of Mississippi state. However, the kid had one good year of college football, wants be an icon and some gut feeling about him just screams bust.
Sadly, the Redskins will overlook his flaws and take him with the 10th pick. Rex Grossman will begin the season as the starting quarterback, however he will play like...Rex Grossman and be benched around Week 6. In will step Newton, the young prince of D.C., ready to save the Redskins, ready to become the face of the franchise. Fast forward to Week 10. Newton will realize that, unlike in college, he can't get by on sheer athleticism, he will implode and the Redskins' season will go with him unless...
Santana Moss will be an unrestricted free agent as soon as a new CBA is reached (or the union decertifies, or hell freezers over and hotdogs fall out of the sky, take your pick). The Redskins will most likely make a very strong effort to bring back Moss, but the fact remains that Moss is past his prime and as much as I love 'em, Anthony Armstrong is not a No. 1 receiver in the NFL.
Julio Jones looked absolutely ridiculous at the combine and boasts incredible strength and as we saw on NFL Network, pretty damn good wheels too. Hopefully, the Redskins will surprise me and not do something incredibly stupid this offseason (like drafting Cam Newton or signing Tiki Barber). If so, when the so-called millionaires vs. billionaires battle is over, Julio Jones will be bullying small helpless cornerbacks to my great enjoyment (note to Terrence Newman, your AARP card won't stop Jones from blowing you up when you try to jam him).
When the lockout is resolved and the Redskins are able to begin making changes to their roster, Albert Haynesworth will still be a member of the team (Yippy!).
If Shanahan and Allen are unable to find any possible trade partners, which is entirely possible, they will arrive at a crossroads, one with they've been at multiple times before. They will have two choices...they can either release Shamesworth or keep him. It would seem absolutely insane for the Redskins to keep him but crazier things have happened.
If Haynesworth is released, the Redskins will be in search of a new stud nose tackle which could mean...
With Haynesworth finally gone (and good riddance), the Redskins find their nose tackle of the future in Kendrick Ellis. A former South Carolina Gamecock who was kicked off the team following two failed drug tests (I'll give you a hint...Dude, Where's My Car?), Ellis has all the physical attributes needed to become a dominant nose tackle for the Redskins' 3-4 defense.
Although he will surely have his share of struggles in his rookie season, he could develop into a star for the 'Skins. If he can stay clean that is, which brings us to our next point...
Give a bunch of 20-something year-olds hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, fame and groupies. Now remove any sort of support structure meant to keep them in check and GO!
Brandon Banks was already stabbed at a nightclub in D.C. during the offseason, and without random drug testing, the NFL drunk-driving prevention program and other means of keeping NFL players out of the tabloids and/or from behind bars, look for the ProFootballTalk turd watch tracker to not get into double digits...
Some teams are talking about organizing workouts during the lockouts. I haven't heard any mention that the 'Skins will partake in such activities. Some players will be diligent and stay in shape. Some won't. Those who don't will see their names on the injury report sooner rather than later.
The NFL is the most violent league in sports, UFC included, and players must be able to twist, contort and flex in ways that would tear the average man's body into small pieces and leave him scattered all over the field. If players don't stay in shape, they will get injured; this isn't an assumption, it's a guarantee.
The Redskins are amongst the teams most vulnerable to a lockout. Shanahan and Allen need this offseason to continue retooling the Redskins roster. Shanahan needs time to continue installing his offense, not to mention refining the 3-4 defense.
If you are a Redskins fan say a prayer that a lockout doesn't occur, as the consequences would be catastrophic for the team. Think of it this way, the lockout is a metaphorical armageddon, and a 'Skins fans only option in that scenario is to duck and cover. (If you don't get the joke watch this 60's educational film on how to protect yourself in the case of being near a nuclear explosion).