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2011 NFL Draft: Labor Negotiations Could Impact Broncos' Draft Selection

As the March 3 deadline for a new collective bargaining agreement between the NFL owners and the players union approaches, the Denver Broncos will begin to have a sharper picture of what they should do with the No. 2 overall pick. Though only hinted at early, a trade out of that pick is possible. This is according to comments John Elway made last week.

If the Broncos are going to hold onto the draft choice they will be committing tens of millions of guaranteed money in a signing bonus to the player. Choose wisely and the money looks worth it; choose unwisely and the franchise will continue to falter.

If a new CBA is worked out before March 3, a rookie salary cap is widely expected to be in place for the coming season. This would make it more likely for the Broncos to keep the pick.

As the Denver Post's Jeff Legwold notes today, if a lockout occurs only draft picks can be traded, not players. Legwold also speculates that the only reason for the Broncos to trade down is if one of the quarterbacks (Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Ryan Mallett or Cam Newton) emerges as consensus top selection for a team to trade up into the top two. None of the four has yet down that, but the NFL Combine and pro day workouts will likely sort that out.

The most likely place for a quarterback to be selected is at No. 8 overall to the Tennessee Titans, who decided to part ways with Vince Young and long-time head coach Jeff Fisher.

The clock is ticking for the Denver Broncos.