Redskins General Manager Bruce Allen is watching and waiting for the league’s labor dispute to be resolved so the lockout can be lifted. The general manager said he remains confident that the league’s labor dispute can be resolved, but believes that it must be handled through negotiations rather than litigation.
“We need everyone back in the room together, and then we’ll get a deal done,” Allen said. “The key is to get the players association and the owners back into the negotiation room. As soon as that happens, there will be a CBA.”
When that collective bargaining agreement is reached, teams can have contact with players, offseason practices can resume, and free agency can commence.
Allen said that the Redskins are poised to be as aggressive in free agency as the league’s rules allow for.
If the two sides agree on free agency rules like last year’s uncapped market, only players with six years of experience or more will be unrestricted free agents. But if the rules are similar to those used in 2009, the league would have one of the biggest free agent classes ever. Either way, the Redskins, who have significant cap space, are planning on being active.
“We prepared for various options and will be able to be as aggressive as any team in the league based on what the rules are,” Allen said.
Meantime, Redskins officials have been pleased to see players take action by gathering for group workouts despite the NFL lockout. They are hoping that players take similar initiative regarding travel preparations for the team’s first international regular season game.
The Redskins will play the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 30 in Toronto, and to make the trip north of the border, players must have their passports. Usually, the Redskins’ travel department would contact the players and/or their agents to ensure that everyone takes the steps to acquire or renew passports.
But because of the lockout, teams can’t have any contact with players, and Redskins officials are concerned not all of the players will renew or apply for passports to get them back in time for the trip to Toronto.
Instead, they can only hope that they have remembered on their own.
“Once we got that game on our schedule, I went to find my passport and realized it expires this June,” Allen said while at the Mickey Steele Celebrity Golf Tournament in Queenstown, Md. “The process of getting a passport does take several months, and I don’t get mine back until late August. So it’s a procedure we need to make sure we take care of, and we need to have our passports ready for when we go to Toronto.”