The 2011 NFL draft is over.
The lockout was on. Then, it wasn't. Now, it's back on again.
Free agency is on hold and so is the season.
When the league—or the court—decides to allow business to resume as usual, many teams are expected to be big players in the free-agent market. Players like former Raiders cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha are expected to be coveted by many teams looking to upgrade their defensive backfields.
This year also has the potential to be one of the largest unrestricted free-agent classes ever. With the possibility of UFA beginning with four-years tenure as opposed to the six-year rule (as has been in the past), player movement could be at an all-time high.
Sometimes, nailing down the "can't-miss" free agent is almost as difficult as picking out the "hands-off" free agent. For every Eric Steinbach, there are dozens of Andre Rison's.
Sadly, teams have thrown serious money at these huge free-agent pickups only to reap zero rewards, putting the franchise in financial turmoil for seasons to come.
What once was thought to be the great equalizer for struggling organizations has turned into the primordial harbinger of death to a team's season.
While the Browns are primed to have an active free-agency period to address defensive holes that were not filled through the draft, who they sign is just as critical as whom they don't sign.
The front office of Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert has prided themselves on building teams from the ground up—meaning through the draft. While certain deficiencies remain, do not expect the Cleveland Browns to make a push for these five guys.