A lot of people assumed players would start showing up at team facilities Tuesday morning after they were granted a temporary injunction against the NFL and their lockout on Monday.
That didn’t play out in Green Bay.
Exactly zero Green Bay Packers turned up at team headquarters. From the sound of it, the Packers wouldn’t have let them do anything anyway.
“What we would do is we would sit down with them and explain the situation that we’ve requested a stay and we’ll know in a couple of days,” Packers president Mark Murphy said. “We just need a little more clarity from the court.”
Much the same thing happened around the rest of the NFL. A couple [intlink id=”386″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] showed up at team headquarters, but they weren’t allowed to work out and left. [intlink id=”298″ type=”category”]New York Giants[/intlink] defensive end Chris Canty was one of the few players who actually got a workout in at his team’s facilities, but most players didn’t even bother to deviate from whatever their normal routine is this offseason.
The owners are apparently sending the message that they need time to figure things out. The NFL has requested a stay while their appeal of the injunction is being considered. A stay would essentially return things to the status quo established when the lockout was first instituted.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who granted the injunction, will rule on the NFL’s request for a stay on Wednesday. If it isn’t granted, the league will turn to the 8th District Court of Appeals with the same request.
The owners’ don’t want the league year, i.e. free agency, to begin while they’re appealing Nelson’s decision on the lockout. If a stay isn’t granted, it’s conceivable the league year could begin and then be halted again if the 8th district rules in favor of the NFL’s appeal.
“One of our lawyers described it as trying to unscramble an egg,” Murphy said. “I think that’s what we all want to avoid. If the final say on this is going to be the 8th Circuit, it makes sense, let’s wait another 4-8 weeks, and let’s make sure we get the right decision. It would be difficult. Hopefully we’ll get the stay, and I think that would provide more order. It would be a little chaotic if we start the league year, and then unstart it for two months.”
Chaotic, perhaps, but the NFL dug its own hole. They may as well bury themselves in it.
If the league has to begin their year before the appeal process is complete, they would revert to the 2010 free agency rules.