This is all assuming a CBA isn't agreed upon.
Should this season actually be uncapped and we don't have a CBA in place certain rules will change.
1) Players aren’t eligible for unrestricted free agency until they’ve been in the league for six years rather than the previous four years. That’s a big loss for performers in a young man’s game and takes 212 players off the open market this offseason. This means that technically Bruce Gradkowski is a Restricted Free Agent. So there's a chance he may not be going any where. While he did do good, he may not have done good enough to get any real hard looks and may end up doing better here at Oakland contract wise. For those that don't quite understand the difference between FA and RFA here's the wiki for Restricted Free Agent:
In the National Football League, a restricted free agent (RFA) is one with three accrued seasons of service, who has received a "qualifying" offer (a salary level predetermined by the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and its players) from his current club. He can negotiate with any club through a certain date. If the restricted free agent accepts an offer sheet from a new club, his old club has "right of first refusal," a seven-day period in which it may match the offer and retain him, or choose not to match the offer, in which case it may receive one or more draft picks for the upcoming draft from the player's new club. If an offer sheet is not executed, the player's rights revert to his old club the day after negotiations must end.
2) No Salary Cap. Well that's obvious and it's meaning is obvious. The more income intense teams can spend more on Free Agents and Draft Picks. It will of course drive up salaries.
3) Ah Ha! The one no one speaks about. No Salary Floor. This means teams can spend as little as they want as well. In today’s weak financial climate, some clubs will be looking to cut costs drastically for the short term, and their biggest expense by far is players. However, it would be unlikely any veteran would take less than the current league minimum. But it could give the owners some advantage on undrafted and high round picks.
Should an uncapped year happen by March 5, 2011, there are 3 options for both sides: They can operate under the same rules as 2010; the players can strike; or the owners can lock out the players. Expect the third option.
Judging by several steps the league and teams have taken, it’s all but certain the owners will lock out the players if it comes to that.
DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s new executive director, said it’s a certainty there won’t be football in 2011 because of a lockout. The major issue is how much of gross revenues the players should be paid. Under the previous agreement, they received about 59 percent, but the owners want to reduce that significantly. They say the NFL’s profit on the approximately $8 billion-a-year business dropped by $220 million from 2005, mostly because of payments for new stadiums, while players’ salaries continued to rise. Keep in mind this all negotiation PR. The stickler for the Players Union is they want to see the Owner's books, and the Owners are say no.
Goodell and Smith held separate press conferences at the Super Bowl, and Smith made the boldest declaration of the week when he said it will be “virtually impossible” for the players to bring back a salary cap now that there won’t be one in 2010.
For this offseason, conventional wisdom says the free-agent market will be even more overpriced than usual because of a diluted market. All the four- and five-year players who would have been unrestricted free agents in years past are restricted and in effect can be removed from the open market with a high restricted free-agent tender.
Source: Green Bay Press Gazette