An NFL Lockout is almost guaranteed to happen in the next few days, you've probably heard. But what does that really mean? It has a lot of implications going forward that are beyond the obvious. A fairly evident effect of a lockout is that if the two sides don't agree to terms by the start of the season, games will be cancelled. First preseason games, then regular season games. How about some different questions?
Will there still be an NFL Draft?
Yes, there will. It will likely be your last chance to savor football news that isn't related to DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell bickering for a good three or four months, I'd try to enjoy it if I were you.
Without a CBA in place, will players be able to be traded?
No. Any draft day trades this year will either have to involve purely draft picks or gentlemen's agreements (Future Considerations, perhaps) to deal players once the CBA is up.
Will there be a free agency?
It depends mostly on when the lockout is over. If it spills over into the regular season, there's a very real chance that everyone will stick with their old team rather than have a chaotic free-for-all to take away another week of the season.
Can players workout in the offseason?
Yes, but the coaching staff can't be involved in any way. Essentially the players can organize workouts with each other, and coaches can suggest (wink wink) things they can work on, but the coaches can't physically be present.
Who does a lockout favor next season?
Established teams that aren't old. The NFL like to tote it's parity but even with the schedule rotations, it will be tough to keep a team that's pretty complete (like say, the Ravens or Packers) out of the playoffs next season if none of their competitors can upgrade themselves in free agency.
Why are they having a lockout?
Because they can't figure out how to share billions and billions of dollars properly. The owners are pushing to break the union even though they still make plenty of money. Don't ask me how that one works.
How will this work out for your Houston Texans?
Sadly, pretty badly. If there's no free agency, the Texans will have to rely on retreads in the secondary again, and barring massive improvement by Kareem Jackson, we'll watch that unit get shredded again. The offense should remain pretty solid, but the Texans desperately need free agency to help (at least) patch up their defense.