If labor problems nuke the offseason, rookies are going to have a harder time contributing their first year than usual. So the disincentive to trade a pick for one in a future year could be even lower than usual. Now, there are 32 teams, each of whom may realize the same thing. So the effect on the Patriots' likelihood of getting a favorable trade-ahead deal is hard to predict. Still, I think the point is worth remarking on.