NFL Free Agency 2011: Which Teams Would Be Hit Hardest If Free Agency Occurs?

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NFL Free Agency 2011: Which Teams Would Be Hit Hardest If Free Agency Occurs?
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NFL and representatives from the recently disbanded NFL player’s association entered court-ordered mediation on Thursday as they await Judge Sarah Nelson’s ruling on an injunction that could end the NFL’s player lockout and return the league to business.

Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board is responding to a complaint from the owners and determining the validity of the union’s decertification.

To the consumers, this could mean any of three things.

The NLRB could rule that the NFLPA’s decertification was, indeed, a sham which would then, quite probably, turn back time and return the NFLPA and the NFL to negotiations until the amount of time stipulated for negotiations (six months from the date the previous CBA expires) runs out and the NFLPA files an antitrust lawsuit anyway.  (Highly unlikely since the NLRB is a pro-labor organization.)

If the NLRB doesn't in favor of the owners, the NFL and the player’s representatives could come to a new agreement and the season could start as normal.  (Also unlikely considering the uninspiring events in March coupled with the player’s hope for an injunction that would put them back to work anyway.)

If negotiations fail again, Judge Nelson could rule in favor of the players and the season could start under last year’s (cap-free, I might add) agreement.  Free agency would begin and, at least until the NFL’s appeal, the season would be continue as normal.

If and when free agency happens, which teams’ seasons are most at risk?

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