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Thursday, April 28, 2011
NFL allows coach-player interaction

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The NFL has released a statement saying the following will take place beginning Friday at 8 a.m. ET (I am running this verbatim from the NFL):
What about trades and free agency?

"With respect to player transactions (such as signings, trades of player contracts, terminations, tryouts, etc.)," the league wrote, "we plan to distribute to all clubs, likely tomorrow, a comprehensive set of procedures governing such transactions. This will include the timing for the commencement of the 2011 League Year, free agent signings and other customary player transactions."

This suggests teams will not have guidelines for trading players during the first round of the draft, and there are no guarantees those guidelines will be in place for subsequent rounds of the draft. It appears, on the surface, that the league is buying 24 hours to get through the first round of the draft before observing the court order striking down the lockout. I'm seeking clarification.

The playbook provisions are key for NFC West teams with new coordinators and coaching staffs. St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford can finally meet with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, for example. That allowance prevents a worst-case scenario whereby players could report to training camp or for the regular season without knowing much about their new schemes.

Update: No player trades during the first round of the draft.