Judge David Doty lobbed a grenade into the NFL owners’ well fortified luxury box yesterday, blowing up their $4 billion dollar war chest and leveling the playing field concerning who can or cannot afford a lockout. If his ruling holds, Jerry Jones will be sweating lost revenue just as much as Jerry Third String Running Back will. Maybe more.
This is probably the best news of the off season for NFL fans. The 2011 Lockout, which looked like a sure bet for the entire past year, might just have been derailed. I don’t want to oversimplify things, but observant readers will note that this positive news occurred on March 1st, which is beyond the death grip of the useless month of February.
Hip-hip-hooraying Doty’s ruling is not an attempt to side with players on the labor issue. It’s the fans who benefit from his ruling. A new CBA means a new season of football, and a new CBA is more likely to occur if both sides of the argument cannot afford to adjourn without an agreement. We’ll see in the next couple of days how much sanity these suits possess.
Assuming for the nonce that a new CBA will be signed in the next week or two, the annual Free Agency & Trading period will soon commence. Gosh, what fun! Us Niner fans have yet to see Trent Baalke perform during this phase of the football year. He stepped into the GM booth last year just in time for the draft, but Scot McCloughan was still in charge when Shaun Hill was traded and FA David Carr was signed to replace him. This may come to be known as football’s equivalent of Aces & Eights, Wild Bill Hickock’s infamous Dead Man’s hand, left on the table while Bill exited this world in 1876 from Saloon No. 10 in Deadwood, South Dakota.
The first order of business, clearly, is the acquisition of a QB to befriend the hind quarters of either David Baas or Eric Heitmann in 2011. There has been much speculation in the blogorama about who this QB should be, so we will soon find out which blognosticants Baalke will please. Jim Harbaugh will obviously be hinting in Trent’s ear about which one he prefers and Trent would be stabbing himself in the back if he ignored these whispers.
This typist does not like trading high draft picks for players, as a general rule, but this might be unavoidable now. The FA list of available QBs is currently topped by — Alex Smith. He is more likely to sign elsewhere than here. There is some chance Donovan McNabb will be released, but this nonchalant fellow does not warm my heart in the least. There’s only one play in his repertoire — finding himself standing alone in the backfield with ten seconds at his disposal and tossing a bomb downfield. The 49ers normally have only six or seven moments all season where this kind of time is available. But the Niners do not have Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin at wide receiver.
Trading a second and a fifth for somebody like Carson Palmer doesn’t tickle me, either. None of the high profile tradeable QBs are worth it, IMHO. They are tradeable for a reason. If all we’re looking for is a temporary solution while Harbaugh grooms a draft pick, let’s hope Baalke trades for a low profile fellow at a reasonable cost, like one draft pick lower than the second round.
Maybe we could get the backup in Detroit for a seventh round pick.