I'm figuring the owners will get a few points of the revenue pie back from the players, but they are going to pay heavily for it. The players will ask for every concession possible to offset the loss of revenue.
Think in these terms: expanded rosters, reduced free agent eligibility requirements, an overhaul of IR rules yada, yada, yada....
A rookie salary cap will also be established. As for the expansion of the regular season to 18 games...well, that could be a deal-delayer.
The new CBA will determine which teams do what in the off-season. Right now, you're probably reading articles about mock drafts and possible free-agent signings. My advice to you is...stop.
Without knowing the new fiscal parameters and the timing of the new CBA those exercises are pointless.
For instance - what is the new salary cap going to be? Without knowing the cap numbers, how can teams go about signing free agents? Also...who knows what will constitute who is restricted and who is non-restricted in the new environment?
What if no deal gets done before the NFL Draft? What will teams be able to offer rookies? Will they be drafting out of need?
Without knowing any of this, how can anyone possibly assemble a mock draft or predict what will happen in free agency?
The only thing I can do for you today is give you my opinion of who the team should keep (if possible) and who should be sent packing.
Now that Tom Coughlin 's job is safe, Perry Fewell is returning and Kevin Gilbride is going nowhere you can only look forward to the team shuffling some position coaches around. Tom Quinn is still here, so it remains to be seen if he'll keep his coordinator's title. Everyone else seems to be destined to return to their previous roles.
QB Eli Manning will return, but he'll have to work on reducing those turnovers. So will RB Ahmad Bradshaw, who the Giants will most likely retain. Brandon Jacobs may have cursed his way out of NY. My take is the team looks to bring in some fresh legs here....
TE Kevin Boss is talented and thanks to recent hip surgery will draw little interest from other teams - so he'll be back. The Giants need another pass-catching TE to compliment him, though. Bear Pascoe could be that guy, providing the team brings in a killer fullback. Doesn't look like they'll keep Madison Hedgecock for too much longer. FBs these days need to be able to handle the football....
The WR situation is in pretty good shape, but it has its issues, too. Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham will be back, but Steve Smith will have to show that he's healthy before the Giants sock any real money into him. The possibility of bringing back Plaxico Burress is very real, but the Giants will most likely look elsewhere for reliable options.
The offensive line is starting to crumble. T Kareem McKenzie was supposed to be the odd man out. He ended up starting every game. C Shaun O'Hara only started six. The Giants will continue to look to augment this group. Chris Snee is the only one guaranteed to be starting in his 2010 position in 2011. David Diehl will be a starter, too, but where? Tackle or guard? The look of this group will depend on how far Will Beatty and Mitch Petrus have developed and the health of O'Hara, Shawn Andrews, Rich Seubert and Adam Koets.
The line is fairly set, but I don't expect the Giants to retain Barry Cofield. Under any future financial framework, the Giants are not going to match his external contract offers. Linval Joseph will be asked to step in. Mathias Kiwanuka may not be back, either. The team will evaluate this spring whether his neck be able to withstand contact. I expect everyone else - and more- to make it to camp.
Linebacker is the area that the team must begin to address. I see Michael Boley and Jonathan Goff coming back, but everyone else is going to have to sing for their supper. And the Giants may not be satisfied with Boley and Goff, either. They sorely need an impact player in the linebacker ranks. Where they get that player is another question...
The secondary is solid, but they could use some depth and speed. That is easy to find, so I'm confident they will accomplish that. I don't see them turning over the apple cart to sign Nnamdi Asomugha, but he would solve some of their issues...
Not going to pick on P Matt Dodge, but the team is crazy if they don't at least explore other options. They also need a PR. If Domenik Hixon is healthy, then he's the guy...
That is my take, for what is worth. Like I said in the preface of this piece, you won't be able to hone in on which players may be available to sign or draft until the new CBA is in place.