The NFL lockout was officially lifted on Monday, and as expected the NFL owners filed a stay to keep the lockout in place. Well, that was denied as Judge Susan Nelson order the new league year to begin right away:
further reiterating that the NFL is no longer under a lockout and that the new league year is to begin immediately. Does that mean a new league will start? According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, there's "no indication league will commence new league year yet." The NFL's next move is to request a stay from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.
Additionally, Judge Nelson said that "no team is obligated to to sign free agents" while trades are still "in question." National Football Post's Aaron Wilson writes that as a result, "collusion cases could be made" if teams are actively working together by not signing any free agents. And if the league stalls to fulfill Nelson's order that the league year begin immediately, the more the league risks being in contempt of Judge Nelson's order.
So, this could possibly open up the possibility of drafted and undrafted free agents being able to sign with teams.
Collusion could be a real issue and a commentary on CincyJungle.com puts it in easy terms to understand:
1) League does nothing, collusion case. 2) League tries to play by old rules, collusion case. 3) League says no rules do what you want, no collusion.
I wish the players would make some kind of public offer rules wise for the owners to agree to, I'd support just about anything at this point, b/c anything beats "no rules" option 3 or collusion litigation under 1 & 2.
Clearly in league's best interest to do nothing other than seek a stay from the 8th circuit. Pretty much any action they take before the 8th circuit rules will subject them to antitrust scrutiny.
The owners better be careful in how the act, or more importantly do not act in signing players. ESPN's Adam Schefter says the NFL owners may only be able to delay the start of the new league year by Monday.
One plugged-in person predicted NFL probably could get away with saying the League Year starts Friday, or maybe Monday, but no later.
This will be interesting to see if NFL teams do sign undrafted rookies once the new league year starts.