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“The most common injuries will be pulled muscles, hamstrings and groins primarily, due to lack of preparation,” Martin said. “Players need to lengthen and strengthen muscles in the offseason to be ready for the rigors of the NFL.”

No one can be ready for the rigors of a free agency frenzy, either.

Normally, on March 1, free agents are courted and wooed by various bidders. They make visits to team facilities, meet with coaches and other team personnel, perhaps with the owner. They sometimes even look at potential housing.

Perhaps most significantly, they take physicals. It’s not unheard of for a team to pass on a free agent because of a sketchy physical _ just ask the Dolphins about Drew Brees’ shoulder.

All of that could fall victim to the lockout.

“It’s going to be like speed dating,” agent Joe Linta said.

“This will literally be the busiest and fastest moving period we have ever encountered,” agent Ben Dogra added. “Being a free agent in 2011 doesn’t necessarily mean that those players will all sign lucrative long-term deals. You will see more short-term deals than ever before. Agents will have to project into free agency of 2012 as much as this year.”

At least then, they won’t be dealing with a lockout.


AP Sports Writers Joseph White and Jon Krawczynski contributed to this story.