If not for the NFL lockout, the Washington Redskins could be contributing to substantially lowering the unemployment rate.
NFL teams carry 80 players on the preseason roster. A count of the names currently on the roster comes up with 72 names.
But there really aren't that many. The following 9 players are not under contract for 2011.
H. B. Blades*
*Could be restricted free agent depending on outcome of CBA negotiations
Since their contracts expired when the league year ended on March 11 when the lockout began, they are not technically on the roster. So the Redskins have 63 players.
But we need to subtract two more players. Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth still are under contract and listed on the roster but most believe they are just awaiting the end of the lockout to be traded or released. That leaves 61 players on the de facto roster.
The help wanted sign is out for almost 20 players. The Redskins have eight draft picks but they will not count on the roster until they sign contracts. They will be unable to sign undrafted college free agents as soon as the draft ends but that's a moot point. When there are minicamps for those players to participate in they will be able to sign the UDFA's.
And, of course, when all of that happens, whether it's in May or in August, the veteran free agent market will be unfrozen and there will be more names added to the roster.
Look for a lot of fast and furious action when things open up.