Many of the short-term casualties of the lockout have been chronicled in depth. We know all about the impact on the free-agent market, undrafted free agents and players awaiting hefty offseason workout bonuses.
Unofficial list of potential free agents
But the longer the lockout lasts, the more I believe the trade market will be hamstrung as well. There are generally some interesting deals that get swung during training camp/preseason, with teams showcasing excess players to drum up the best market possible. Veterans like Pete Kendall and Jason Taylor, just to name a couple, have changed teams at that time of year in the past. But if training camps are greatly truncated -- or even eliminated -- this year because of the lockout, it could result in a stifled trade market.
Think about it: If general managers are trying to put their rosters together on the fly, and camps are perhaps limited to just a few weeks with fewer preseason games, will teams have the luxury of showcasing players who are not a part of the immediate plans for 2011?
The Redskins would love to be able to showcase Albert Haynesworth getting lots of reps against third- and fourth-tier opposition or what kind of shape Donovan McNabb is in. Teams may want to see how Texans running back Steve Slaton is coming along. But with prep time perhaps at a premium like never before, how many reps -- so vital to a team's preparation -- will there be to go around?
Because teams know guys like those mentioned above are likely to ultimately get cut anyway, I tend to think that a more lengthy lockout will prevent the kind of in-camp transactions to which we're accustomed. It's all the more reason for teams to just wait and see who makes the final 53, and who doesn't, and then wade into the subsequent free-agent market.
This is particularly true at key positions like quarterback, as giving pristine developmental time during a shortened preseason to a veteran with no future on his current team won't make much sense. On the flip side, the scenario of a shortened preseason would make getting in proper condition even more imperative than ever if players don't get those extra weeks of camp and preseason games to round into form.
The longer the lockout goes, the more it might cast a chill over this segment of the preseason trade market and curtail the options for teams looking to ship out surplus players and contracts.