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Jim Harbaugh Needs NFL Clearance to See Alex Smith's New Baby

As the NFL lockout continues, the line between what can and can't go on becomes more and more skewed, and the stories related to it become more and more comical.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith and his wife gave birth to their first child last week, and out of the kindess of his heart head coach Jim Harbaugh wanted to personally deliver some flowers and a congratulatory meeting at the hospital with the happy couple. But according to CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, Harbaugh had to have clearance from the league beforehand to ensure he wasn't violating the rules of the lockout.

The Niners had already been fined for violating the coach/player contact terms of the lockout earlier this year, and wanted to be extra cautious before Harbaugh proceeded with his kind gesture. Luckily for everyone involved the league viewed it as a purely social visit and was eventually OK'd by the league, a team spokesperson told Maiocco. Phew, really dodged a bullet there.

I guess you never know, Harbaugh could have hid an updated playbook or some video footage for Smith to watch inside the bouquet of flowers, almost like a visitor baking a metal file into a cake for a prisoner. Or maybe there was a secret radio transmitter inside a rose that Harbuagh planted to have secret conversations with his quarterback. I'm sure coaches and players are getting more crafty at trading information during the lockout.

Come on NFL. The man had a baby. His coach wanted to congratulate him. Does that really merit "clearance?"

This lockout has got to end.