One thing I haven't seen discussed is how the new CBA will affect draft strategy. In particular, a seemingly minor change to the CBA is the fact that teams will no longer be able to sign draftees to contracts over 4 years in length, except for the top 16 picks in the first round. Given the fact that draftees tend to play for short money compared to veterans in their 2nd or 3rd contract, and given the salary cap, it is a huge advantage to be able to stock your roster with productive draftees. But most draftees don't contribute much in their first or even second seasons. So with the CBA changes teams will be limited in most cases to getting only two productive years (years 3 and 4) from a draft pick with a low cap number. As we all know, the Patriots have preferred to sign their first round picks to 7 year contracts, even letting Ben Watson go to hold out rather than letting him sign for 6 years. Perhaps they will therefore attempt to move up from #21 to #16 or better in the first round? The contract length limit should rightfully alter the widely used fair value chart. After all, the #17 pick is now worth considerably less than #16, since the player you pick at #16 can be signed for 6 years (I believe that is now the maximum for the first 16 picks?) vs. only 4 for the #17 pick. That's like getting 4 or 5 productive years vs. only 2 or 3 for the price of the rookie contract. Some of the slower GM's might not even have realized it yet! So maybe the Pats can "steal" a top 16 pick for a #21 and whatever lower picks would represent the fair value difference under the traditional chart?