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A Look to the Offseason, Part 1: Uncertain CBA Situation and the Draft

It is impossible to say for sure in which direction the Jets will go in the offseason. That is because there is impossible to say for sure what they will be able to do. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and the owners expires on March 3. On March 4, unless a new agreement is reached beforehand, the owners will likely lock the players out of team facilities.

This will delay free agency and other transactions. This is because there will be no rules. The CBA governs the rules of what contracts are allowed to have in them and how much each team is allowed to spend.

The league will hold the NFL Draft no matter what the labor situation looks like, which could mean a Draft before the free agency period. Since teams might not be able to fill their holes through free agency, this year's Draft might have much more emphasis on filling needs than usual.

It is not clear how free agency will work if there is an extended lockout. There is a chance it could end just weeks from the start of the season. Teams might go straight to camp. What would happen then? Would there be a free for all? Would teams retain their players for an extra year at a predetermined salary (and put off signing bonuses for players for a year? Could players agree to that?) Nobody really knows for sure, which makes this year's free agency very difficult to discern at this time. Teams cannot act until there is a CBA because we will not know what is allowed and what is not allowed.