So we have reached the point this summer with the NFL lockout that the 2011 regular season will start to be affected. It now seems very likely that a deal between the NFL and its players will not happen in time enough for training camps and pre season schedules. That means rookies that were just drafted, and unsigned free agents will not have very big opportunities to impress head coaches and win roster spots. To combat this problem the NFL is toying with the idea of expanding regular season rosters to allow its teams to keep rookies so coaching staffs can get an extended look at them.
Depending on when the NFL gets back to business several different plans have been thought of. One is to expand the roster of 53 and the game day roster of 45 by three a piece. This would allow teams to carry six additional players and allow coaching staffs to see what players can do in game time situations.
I am not a really big fan of this, but we are past the point where this ridiculous lockout will not change the way the NFL has operated recently. I would allow NFL teams to carry six to ten extra players for the first four games of the season. Four games is pretty equal to the four pre-season games that are likely to be missed, and is probably the fairest way to allow teams to evaluate their talent.
In the back of my mind floats the idea that this is a step towards impeding the likely success of the United Football League in a NFL lockout world. Those six to ten extra players would likely be big targets for the upstart league should this lockout drag on. The NFL may try a preemptive strike to keep more unsigned/undrafted rookies on the fence about whether or not to play with the new league.