Last week I made a post a few hours before NFL owners and players agreed to disagree with the NFLPA decertifying and the owners locking out the players that called for the 49ers to trade their top draft pick for Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb (Read here). I wrote the post knowing the NFL was either close to an extension, a new CBA agreement or a lockout. Wishful thinking had me hoping for anything other than a lockout knowing how it would affect the 49ers trading for Kolb. A hearing has been set for April 6 with a federal court judge to lift the lockout after ten NFL players filed an anti-trust lawsuit against NFL owners. According to the Washington Post, “if the players’ request for a preliminary injunction is granted, the lockout would be lifted and the sport would reopen for business. The league would have to establish work rules, likely the same ones that were in place last season, which was played without a salary cap. Either side could appeal the decision to a higher court.”
There is little chance an agreement will be worked out between now and April 6. If the courts side with the players the 49ers chances of trading for Kolb increase with three weeks to go before the draft. If the courts side with the owner obtaining Kolb becomes more difficult.
The 49ers can trade the rights of their draft picks to the Eagles for the rights of their draft picks but cannot trade draft picks for current players such as Kolb. The 49ers still could trade for Kolb after a new CBA is agreed to and the lockout ends but that would involve future draft picks that are undetermined until after the season because if the lockout holds it will last past the draft on April 28. The Eagles could go that route but with the 49ers most likely finishing next season at least at .500 or higher the Eagles might be more inclined to go with a lower talented team to bank on getting a higher draft pick in the first round of 2012’s draft.
There is still disgruntled Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer who may retire if he is not traded. Palmer would still be an upgraded over David Carr, the only quarterback signed with the 49ers, but his year after year of decline since suffering his knee injury in the playoffs in 2005 is not a good sign. Palmer would be a fix to a constant problem for the 49ers but at the most it will be for two years. Who knows, maybe Palmer would rejuvenate his career with the 49ers, maybe not. Are the 49ers willing to take that chance? It will take someone other than Carr. It might be time to hop on the draft a quarterback with the seventh pick bandwagon. Ugh.