To quote Ted Nuget. Less than 24 hours before the start of the 2011 NFL Draft, US District Judge Susan Richard Nelson has ruled that the NFL has not met the burden for a stay pending appeal. She has ordered an immediate end to the 45 day lockout imposed by the NFL. However, she stated that no team is obligated to sign free agents. So what does this mean, should we expect a frenzy of trades, or free agent signings? According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN the NFL teams are likely to do nothing as far as trades or free agency until the appeals court makes a ruling which is expected sometime next week. He also claimed this is a slippery slope the NFL is since Nelson’s ruling orders teams to open doors for the players immediately. Any team found not in compliance could risk the NFL being in contempt of court.
Chances are the league would fall back to the 2010 rules and the more than 500 free agents would be cut down to around 250. More so than free agents, will it get ironed out over the next 21 hours that teams can trade players? Right now it’s doubtful, but the NFL owners may look at the goings on and realize they are taking a beating and while they will still have their day in court they need to start working on improving their teams and moving on with day to day operations of the business. If this was a prize fight the owners might be on the verge of being TKO’d after two knockdowns.
I am sure the owners will be working overnight trying to iron out the next steps and decide how they should approach the day tomorrow. I doubt we see any free agents signed, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see the league allow the trading of players. Of course not much of anything would shock me about now. I would love to wake up in the morning and see the announcement of business as usual and see the free for all get going. If that were to happen at least for me it would be one worthless day at work, as I would be watching the updates all day long. Wait a second, it’s draft day I will be doing that anyway. Well here we go, ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!