Yesterday, Judge Susan Nelson ruled to lift the lockout imposed by the NFL owners. It's possible that her ruling could open the league's doors for business as early as Tuesday.
That's a long shot though.
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Last night, the league filed two motion's with Nelson's court. The first was a motion for clarification, seeking more information on the implications of her ruling. The second was a motion to stay her ruling while the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis hears the National Football League's appeal.
So, are you confused yet? To put it simply, basically three things could happen:
1. She could allow the stay, which would keep the NFL's doors closed until the appeals court hears the case.
2. She could NOT allow the stay, and order the 2011 league year to begin immediately.
3. She could allow the Eighth Circuit to rule on the stay, which would take two to seven days. In that scenario, the appeals court could either order the league to start immediately, or wait until the resolution of the case in appeals.
One thing is clear, the ruling Monday has the league stirring. Some agents are advising clients to report to their teams practice facility Tuesday morning same as they would on any normal offseason Tuesday.
A league source said NFL officials are still trying to decide what to do if players actually report to work, but they probably won't make a final decision until getting further opinion from Judge Nelson.
Regardless, it's looking more and more likely that there will be a full 2011 NFL season, and that makes me one happy camper.