As we here know, the labor situation has become awfully fluid, awfully fast. There's a real good chance that the lockout is permanently lifted right now, and right when the league is gearing up for the draft. From my vantage point, the owners are having a difficult time adjusting to losing this latest court skirmish and that means that there might not be a clean end to the lockout.
With such a chaotic situation, the teams that can react quickly and adjust their strategies will have a crucial advantage in the next couple of weeks. There has been a lot of talk about how different this draft is what with free agency coming sometime after it and how that affects team strategies. Now it looks like free agency might be starting sometime during the draft or very soon after. Teams won't be able to take their time and assess the situation for a month like they are used to. Teams will be asked to react in four different team building directions (drafting rookies, signing rookie free agents, trading veteran players, and signing veteran free agents) practically at once if the Stay is not granted. Given that many teams make big mistakes in all of these areas in a normal year, asking them to do all these things practically at once should show which teams have good front office personnel and who doesn't in ways that we never imagined. Some teams could really get fleeced this spring between drafting poorly and not reacting right when free agency opens up. They could be set back by years as a result.
That brings us to the Ravens and Ozzie and Co. This team of ours prides itself on deliberate action, of doing a thorough check on all the variables before decisively acting for the enrichment of the team. But they are only human and they make mistakes, fewer than most teams but definite mistakes, just like any team. I hope that they are prepared with a general plan for this offseason including what to do in free agency versus what to do in the draft. But can they do both in the space of a couple weeks? Can they react cooly, calmly, and decisively so that they get the players that can really help the team?
I dunno. I mean I really have no idea one way or another. I can imagine some teams overreacting, overreaching for players in the draft, overreaching for specific free agents too quickly. I can also imagine some teams being too deliberate and thus missing out on opportunities that set their team back. What will the Ravens do?