Negotiations are back in full swing as the federal court appointed mediator is sitting down with the players and owners to, hopefully, iron our the differences between both parties. The hope is a new CBA will be agreed to before the NFL Draft, which starts two weeks from today.
It's a faint hope, but still possible.
The reason this is such a big deal is that with no CBA currently in place, teams cannot sign free agents or trade players under contract for other player, or draft picks. This dramatically affects the decisions made in team 'war rooms' on draft day.
But, even though teams cannot sign players or trade for them, that doesn't mean people like Vaughn McClure at the Chicago Tribune can't speculate on where certain players, like current Bears free agent Tommie Harris, could land once the lockout ends.
From McClure, via Twitter:
Don't be surprised if Tommie Harris signs with the Colts once the lockout ends.
Well, I'd certainly be surprised. For starters, the last time the Colts signed a veteran free agent defensive tackle of Harris' pedigree, it didn't work out to well. Second, Harris plays the same position Fili Moala plays on the defensive line. He isn't a 'nose tackle' type DT. He's the type that shoots the gap and tries to get into the backfield. What the Colts need is a rock in the middle, someone like Booger McFarland who sustains his block and frees up the other tackle to make plays. McFarland did this with tremendous success in Tampa Bay (allowing Warren Sapp to earn an astounding 29 sacks in 1999 and 2000).
Harris, in his youth, was more the Sapp-style player. But Harris is a long time gone from the days when he was considered a 'force' as a DT. His best year was 2007, when he earned 8 sacks and 31 tackles. Last year, he got 1.5 sacks, and started only six games.
Now, this doesn't mean I'm against the Colts signing Harris. The team needs all the help it can get at DT. But, Harris certainly does not solve the issues at that position, and he's a far cry today from what he was back in '06 and '07.