NFL and the NFLPA Lockout Countdown: Lockout Day+55, or the NFL Players Workouts and Their Briefs

Although brief and short last Friday, the some of the NFL players did get an opportunity to work out at their facilities, but the NFL team owners filed a brief in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis as a countermeasure against U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson‘s order to lift the lockout.  They argued that Nelson’s injunction was federal interference when the Norris-LaGuardia Act stated that federal courts should not impose themselves in labor negotiations.  As expected, the players “trade association” said that the NFL team owners have caused irreparable damage from the work stoppage.  However, the appellate court has granted a temporary stay, reinforcing Nelson’s original injunction to lift the lockout. The appellate court in St. Louis consists of judges Steven Colloton, Kermit Bye and Duane Benton, and they will be deciding whether the stay will be permanent.  There is hearing scheduled June 3 with David Boies representing the league and Thoedore Olsen representing the players.  This is expected to take another six to eight weeks, should it be decided that these three judges will rule on the entire appeal.  By that time, it should give U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson and the National Labor Relations Board sufficient time to make their decisions on their respective cases.

In the meantime, the NFL players have begun their training although not sanctioned by the teams.  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees led nearly 40 players to a training camp of sorts at the Tulane facilities. New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is leading his training camp in California.  Denver Broncos safety Brian Dawkins has led workouts in the Denver area. Young Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy held his workouts in Austin, Texas.  Lastly, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is hosting his in an undisclosed location with 40 players in attendance.

In light of this, Judge Nelson does not remain optimistic that the 2011 season will open on time.  However, the NFL schedule currently has taken that into effect.  On the bright side, these private workouts scheduled by the leaders of the respective NFL teams will hinder some from causing legal trouble during their free time.  And for some of the fans, including myself, there are signs of light at the end of the tunnel, but it looks like we have to remain patient while the courts and attorneys sort themselves out.  These briefs won’t be short as their name implies…

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