The NFL took it’s sweet time, but the league is officially open for offseason business as usual today.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson denied the league’s request for a stay Wednesday. The NFL requested the action after Nelson’s decision to lift the lockout on Monday, a decision the league is appealing.
Players around the league were allowed to work out in team facilities today and coaches were allowed to have contact with players for the first time since the lockout began in March. Perhaps most importantly, especially for teams with new coaches, is playbooks can also be handed out.
If things remain as they are, you’ll also see organized team activities and minicamps start to pop up — the [intlink id=”126″ type=”category”]Detroit Lions[/intlink] have already scheduled OTAs for next week. That’s a big if, of course.
The NFL has also asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to grant a stay on Nelson’s ruling and there could be a ruling as soon as today. If the court sides with the NFL and grant the stay, things will be shut down again by the end of the day.
If that doesn’t happen, and I think the fans were pretty clear on their position when they booed commissioner Roger Goodell at the draft last night, free agency could begin as early as Monday.
Keep your fingers crossed.