Ragged play, free agency frenzy ahead for NFL

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Frantic. Chaotic. Ragged.

They all will apply to the NFL for the next few weeks, perhaps longer.

The product on the field might not match what the NFL usually provides, and that could be the biggest impact of the 4?-month lockout.

Arizona Cardinals star receiver Larry Fitzgerald says the quality of play won’t “be as good early.” Jets fullback Tony Richardson has spent 16 seasons in the NFL. He sees upcoming training camps and preseason this way: “The best word for it is chaos.”

As economics took center stage while the owners and players battled over a $9 billion industry, the lockout erased all offseason activities. That means few players will be in football shape when they report this week, and many won’t be familiar with the playbook.