Now, the lockout is over for real. For now, anyway.
Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal reports that Judge Susan Nelson, who lifted the lockout Monday when she ruled for the players in their request to end the work stoppage, has denied the NFL’s motion for a stay pending appeal.
That means, until we hear a ruling from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals - the appeal likely will be expedited, meaning we could hear a decision in just a few days - the NFL is open for business.
Interestingly, Nelson’s decision was released about 23 hours before the NFL draft, opening up a huge can of questions. Can teams now trade draft picks for players? Can undrafted free agents sign with teams? What about rookie camps across the NFL?
Now, the ruling doesn’t mean free agency begins right this very second (and Nelson said the teams were under no obligation to start signing). We still don’t know the rules of free agency – the NFL could revert back to the 2010 rules, but that isn’t known for sure. Until there are rules, there can’t be free agency.
But now, there should be little question that players are allowed to work out in team facilities.
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