By Jordan Ogren–
The NFL’s lockout of its players was lifted Monday, ending a work stoppage that had lasted 45 days. This means that players and their organizations can contact one another and players are allowed back at their respective facilities to workout with coaches and trainers.
However, this could only be temporary since the NFL and the players’ association have yet to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who is the judge assigned to the case between the NFL and the NFLPA, has given the league until 6 p.m. ET today to submit a request with good reasoning to continue the lockout.
If Judge Nelson’s halt to the lockout is upheld, the NFL will have to continue its business just like before the lockout was put into place after the old CBA expired on March 12. That would activate free agency, which would resume under the 2010 rules.
“We are going to proceed in an orderly way that is fair to the teams and players and complies with court orders,” said NFL spokesman, Greg Aiello. “Players are being treated with courtesy and respect at club facilities.”
Players began showing up to work out at their teams’ facilities Tuesday, but most were turned away and told they could not workout there. Many teams want to let the lockout and CBA dispute play out before letting players come back to work.
“We do not believe it is appropriate for football activities to take place until there are further rulings from the court,” added Aiello.
Free agency is also a hot topic and the start of which is still unknown.
“What we need to do is let the dust settle for a day or two and see if the stay is put in place, and then we’ll all know more and go from there,” said lead negotiator for the NFL, Jeff Pash, when asked about the start of free agency.
The NFL Draft starts Thursday night, adding to the chaos among NFL teams and owners. Since free agency is still on hold, this greatly alters draft plans for all teams.
The 2011 regular season is scheduled to begin on September 8 unless the lockout is reinstated and a new collective bargaining agreement is not reached.