By: Stetson Hershey
Just as soon as it ends, it begins again.
The NFL lockout is back on, effective immediately. The reinstatement of the lockout was announced Friday during the NFL draft after the NFL was granted it’s stay until an appeal is heard.
U.S. District Court Judge, Susan Richard Nelson sided with the players Monday when she wrote an 89-page order that said the lockout was causing “irreparable harm” to the players.
The NFL however appealed the ruling, questioning whether Nelson exceeded her jurisdiction. The league asked for a “hold” or “stay” on her ruling until the appeal was heard. It was later dismissed by Judge Nelson.
When the lockout was first lifted, players were allowed to return to work. The training facilities were open to the few players who went into work, but players were not allowed to work out or speak to their coaches while in the building. After Judge Nelson reviewed the NFL’s request for a hold and dismissed it, the players were allowed to talk to their coaches and work out in the weight rooms.They were also allowed to collect playbooks, which is a big deal for teams with new coaches on the staff.
Even though the lockout was lifted, there was still no new collective bargaining agreement. That means there are no guidelines for contacts, free agency, trades, etc. The old CBA still comes into effect, allowing mandatory minicamps and voluntary off-season practices to begin under the rules of the old CBA. Players can potentially now earn their workout bonuses in their contracts by working out on their own if they have health insurance in place.
Players and coaches weren’t in contact very long. The lockout was re-announced shortly after players had arrived and left the team facilities. The good news was, before the lockout was reinstated, first round draft picks were able to talk and meet with coaches and the staff, and some even collected playbooks.
The 8th U.S Circuit Court of Appeal in St. Louis granted the NFL it’s stay. It was a 2-1 decision in favor of the temporary stay. Kermit Bye, one of the judges of the circuit, said the temporary stay should only be applied during “emergency situations”. The Appeals Court is expected to be heard next week for the NFL’s request of a permanent stay until the appeal is heard by Judge Nelson’s injunction. This process could take 6-8 weeks.
“The NFL has not persuaded me this is the type of emergency situation which justifies the grant of a temporary stay,” Bye wrote.
Judge Bye wrote the NFL hasn’t provided enough proof that the league would suffer irreparable harm without the lockout, and asked for the stay so the NFL wouldn’t have to run it’s business without a CBA in place.
“Routine grant of stay and totally expected,” said the lead players attorney Jim Quinn,”The only surprise is that Judge Bye is so strongly against giving them even a tiny stay because the league obviously can’t show it is necessary.”
Fans are becoming impatient and upset with the handling of the labor situation.
“They should get over being greedy and just play the game,” said Tyler Beckley, a senior at Penn Manor.
Players all over the league tweeted their opinions and feelings about the lockout being back on, some of them apologized to the fans about the way this has all turned out. Coaches and general managers alike are also disappointed with the lockout being back on.
“Nobody’s happy about any of this,” Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson said in an interview with CBS Sports.com, “But it is what it is. The lockout is back into effect.”