11. It still might be too early to tell how long the injunction case will last -- a month tops, but that is probably a worst-case scenario -- and if the players win the case, there is a very slim possibility that free agency can begin before the draft, which starts April 28.
12. It's more likely the draft will be complete before free agency, and the area that handcuffs the Patriots mostly is on the offensive line, which could have some moving parts, depending on Matt Light and Logan Mankins. I personally think the Patriots' best strategy is to move forward as though they'll never have Mankins in a uniform again. Even with the franchise tag in place, they're never going to sign him to a long-term deal.
13. Let's say the Patriots want to keep Mankins in contract limbo out of spite. Unless something changes with the franchise tag in the new CBA, Mankins is set to earn about $10 million in 2011, and with the guarantee of at least a 20 percent raise in 2012, they'll pay him at least $12 million then.
14. Mankins will face a prorated pay decrease if he keeps holding out like he did in 2010, but the Patriots would be looking at $22 million in guaranteed money if they chose to franchise him twice in a row. If they really had those intentions, it would be much more financially responsible to put that toward guaranteed money in a four- or five-year deal.
15. If the Patriots retain Light, it will have to be for a two- or three-year contract -- it would be a huge hometown discount if he accepted a one-year deal to remain in New England, so I don't believe that is likely -- and I have to believe they'll know during the draft whether or not they'll have Light on the roster in 2011 and beyond. Therefore, they'll be tipping their hand on that move if they draft a tackle with one of their first three picks.
"I'd rather beat them than maybe go to heaven."
- Ask PFW: Pre-draft labor limbo.
- Mark Farinella doesn't foresee a "fan revolt" against the Patriots or the NFL, despite their angry bluster.
- Mike Reiss notes some Patriots season-ticket holders have concerns about the NFL labor situation.
- Christopher Price offers a roundup of news from the end of Day 4 of the NFL lockout.
- Christopher Price reports on Florida's Pro Day, with Bill Belichick meeting with Gators OL Mike Pouncey.
- Christopher Price reports that despite the lockout, the NFL 2011 schedule will be released next month.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag. Terrific insight here as usual.
- AP reports how the players are trying to pick up legal system on the fly.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) AFC East running back power rankings.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) NFL Draft machine makes its return.
- Tony Pauline (SI) Pro Day tracker.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Mail: Planned NFLPA event would disrupt NFL draft tradition.
- Craig Karmin and Josh Barbanel ( Wall St. Journal) Tom Brady finds buyer for Time Warner Center apartment.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League, players need to resume negotiations now.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Boycott talk, labor fight bad for NFL draft.
- Chip Scoggins (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Peterson: 'Modern-day slavery' alive in the NFL.
- Kevin Seifert (ESPN) Lockout '11: Say it ain't so, Adrian Peterson.
- Doug Farrar (Yahoo! Sports) Adrian Peterson expresses frustration on labor issues.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) Uncharted territory for all: Uncertainty, frustration, and a whole lot of opportunity.