With a week of legal clockwork grinding in the background, there hasn’t been significant progress of the NFL-NFLPA lockout. The NFL said that U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ignored the potential harm to the league and to the contract discussions by lifting the injunction in a briefing sent to the 8th District Court of Appeals in St. Louis. The 8th District Court, in light of this, has put on temporary hold on the order, meaning that the NFL and the NFL players trade association are currently in a state of limbo. That means no more contract negotiations during free agency or participate in sanctioned workouts. However, many players have taken their own initiative to hold workouts, including Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo and New Orleans Saints Drew Brees.
Splitting attention with the NFL’s appeal, U.S. District Judge David Doty held a two-hour hearing on the splitting of the $4 billion in television revenues, which the NFL players want $707 million in damages due to renegotiated television contracts by the NFL that would permit the league to still get paid despite the lockout. Doty ruled in favor of the NFL players on March 1 declaring that the renegotiated contracts failed to “maximize revenues” for the players.
As these legal proceedings has gone on, the NFL players have made significant moves on their own. Former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre had declared that he has officially retired and “done with football.” We have heard this same song and dance twice before, and I wouldn’t hold my breath quite yet. Even despite his lackluster performance in 2010, with 2,509 yards passing, 11 touchdowns and a below-average 69.9 quarterback rating, he might still make a comeback again. Not entirely out of the picture since the NFL has yet to formally declare this upcoming season open. However, the disastrous sagas of Jenn Sterger and the other women last season would certainly hinder him.
One intriguing note came from the Seattle Seahawks as Matt Hasselbeck and Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell held discussions about his return to the team once the work stoppage ends. With him potentially returning, the flip-flop duo of Matt Hasselbeck and Charlie Whitehurst of last season’s Cinderella team would return on the roster. This veteran didn’t have his best season last year until honestly the final game of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Wild Card game against the New Orleans Saints and their NFC title game against the Chicago Bears. In their last game, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler exploded with 4 touchdowns and a 111.3 quarterback rating. However, Seattle Seahawks Matt Hasselbeck himself did pretty well, too. He had 3 touchdowns and a 94.3 quarterback rating against one of the tougher defenses in the league last season.
There were some other player news locally. Boxer Bernard Hopkins ripped into former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb saying that McNabb was essentially born pampered and made some off-handed racial remarks as well. But this is nothing more than what some boxers do best, stir the pot to cause some commotion. Other boxers have done the same in the past, similar to Muhammad Ali had done to his competitors Joe Frazier and George Foreman.
After all this legal limbo this week, the NFL and the NFL players trade association are still in quite a legal stalemate. These courts have to wait until the final decision has been made by the National Labor Relations Board as the Board’s mandate will directly impact their own.