As the NFL lockout drags on, new experiences figure to come every day.
This will be the case on April 28th, when the NFL teams will begin their three-day draft in New York, one that will be clouded thanks to the ongoing struggle to reach a new labor agreement.
"It’s just a little bit different for us," said Colts general manager Chris Polian. "In our particular situation, we would have re-signed some of our own free agents at this point."
Oddly, however, its after the draft that may have the biggest effect on the franchise considering their usual success with undrafted free agents.
With contact between the team and players banned, the team will not be able to sign those college players who didn't hear their named called in New York until the conclusion of the lockout.
“Well, it is what it is," said Colts vice chairman Bill Polian. "Obviously, it has been a big part of what we do. You’d like for it to be otherwise, but that is not the case.
"We’ll just deal with the reality of it.”
That could be an effect on the team, considering the strong contributions that undrafted free agents have brought to the Colts over the years. From Jeff Saturday in the late 1990s to receiver Blair White from a year ago, many of these players have often had to step into major roles on the team in a short period of time.
"We’ve prepared for it the same way because we really didn’t know going forward what was going to happen," said Colts director of player personnel Tom Telesco. "The preparations for those guys, everything has been exactly the same.
"If we can’t do anything immediately after the draft we may have to scale it down a little bit because at some point we will be able to sign those guys, we just don’t know when."
As for the effect of the lockout on the draft itself, expect it to be minimal. The Colts will select 22nd on Thursday night and then have five more picks over the next two days-one in each of final five rounds.
"In terms of entering that into the draft planning, we have not done that. We have treated the draft like we would have any other year," said Chris Polian. "The uncertainty of what the situation is when things resume, all 32 clubs will have to deal with that.
"We’ll be dealing with it after the draft rather than before the draft in past years. That’s really the biggest change.”