NEW YORK - APRIL 22: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell looks on as he stands on stage during the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 22, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Even with the lockout, the NFL will go on with the draft. Ted Phillips and Jerry Angelo are still dissecting players, deciding who would fit in best with the Bears. On April 28, 29 and 30, Bears brass will gather into a war room and decide what to do with the team's draft picks, starting with the 29th pick in the first round, and some young man will get a call telling him to get acquainted with the Windy City, as he is about to be a Bear.
Yes, everything will be the same, except that it's going to be completely different.
For one, the players won't necessarily know that they'll have a season to look forward to. They won't be able to comment on their immediate impact on a team when they don't know if they'll have one. The top draftees are also being reportedly encouraged by the NFL Player's Association to boycott the draft in a show of solidarity with their teammates, which is an incredibly unfair move and puts the draftees in an awful position. Do they anger their future teammates and establish a bad reputation before they ever strap on an NFL helmet by going to the draft, or do they miss out on a day they've been dreaming of and working towards for years because of a squabble that started years before they were drafted?
If the lockout is still going, the Bears contact with their players will end as soon as his name is announced. The Bears will retain his rights, but won't be able to sign him, coach him, or present him to the media until the collective bargaining agreement is signed. Welcome to Chicago, future unnamed Bears player. Now, you aren't allowed at Halas Hall.