If the NFL Lockout is lifted and the 2011 season starts at some point, they owners will have to decide what rules to play the season under. It looks likely that the 2011 season will probably play under 2010 rules, which were a lot different that 2009 rules. This means certain players, including a few Baltimore Ravens, will not be granted the free agent status that they would have been under the past CBA and 2009 rules. Free agency will be available to those players without contracts who have six years of NFL experience, not the four that the CBA offered.
Ravens' players, such as Jared Gaither, would no longer be an unrestricted free agent, free to sign with any team. The Ravens would only have to tender him a contract and he would remain their "property." This also affects guards Marshal Yanda, Chris Chester and Ben Grubbs, punter Sam Koch, safety Dawan Landry, FB LeRon McClain and DT Haloti Ngata. These players are either going into their 5th or 6th NFL seasons and under the previous CBA would be free agents if not currently under contract and now will no longer eligible until after their sixth year of experience is completed.
Andrew Brandt of the National Football Post wrote an in depth story, detailing the rules that the players will have t live by, the advantages and disadvantages for both sides in this labor issue. Of course, there is a good chance that the judge will not lift the "stay" and the Lockout will continue until one side caves in and negotiates a settlement.