As we've been hearing all morning, ESPN has reported that a new CBA could be ratified by July 21st, meaning that there would be an aggressive 'transition' period into the new league year.
One of the issues that stood out to me was how the Redskins rookies will be impacted with the potential accelerated timeline. Yes, all teams will be at a disadvantage with their rookies, but the Skins have the largest rookie class this offseason (and that's without undrafted signees), meaning that they'll need to catch even more players up to speed in training camp than other teams.
Add that to the fact that one of the most concerning aspects of this new timeline is that all of these rookies are still unsigned. So if the league year starts on July 28th (the date that training camp begins), how is there any chance of the team getting all of their rookies in camp on time?
If that's not enough, the undrafted players will be at an even bigger disadvantage. Last year, players like Logan Paulsen, Brandon Banks and Keiland Williams were all able to perform as undrafted rookies. But the way this offseason is playing out, those type of 'nothing to something' stories won't be able to be written because there simply won't be enough time for them to develop and impress the coaching staff.
There has been talk that perhaps there could be OTA-like practices allowed a week before training camps open up, so that all players (signed and unsigned) can participate. That's certainly a possible solution, but will it be enough?
The Redskins are one of the teams that perhaps need their rookie class to perform well as soon as it can, as the team is hoping to get younger and faster in 2011 and beyond. But if things wind up moving at this accelerated pace, not even 'three a day' practices in training camp would be enough to get all the rookies in gear come Week 1 of the NFL season.