The lockout is preventing NFL coaches from meeting with their players and talking with free agents. For one coach, even talking about free agents has been outlawed.
Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers' first-year head coach, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat on Tuesday that the league has asked him to stop discussing his team's un-signed players, especially QB Alex Smith. Earlier in the offseason, the coach had said he expects Smith to return to the team in 2011.
"I'm not answering any questions about Alex Smith," Harbaugh said to the newspaper. "The league has mandated we do not talk about him. ... The NFL has mandated that we don't talk about players who are not under contract — who are free agents who haven't signed. We've been sent a memo saying we can't talk about it."
Smith is one of the many free agents on the market NFL teams are hoping to pencil into their depth charts, but have been unable to do so because of the current labor dispute between owners and players.