Judge Susan Nelson made her ruling yesterday afternoon. She ruled in favor of the Players and determined that the Lockout is illegal. That means that the NFL Owners enforced Lockout is currently over. However, the NFL will appeal the ruling which means that another judge will have to uphold Nelson's ruling in order to make this more permanent.
This is all temporary for now because the lockout can begin again this afternoon or it might be over for the foreseeable future. That all depends on whether Judge Nelson agrees to uphold the "stay of ruling" that the NFL asked for after she announced her ruling last night. This can go two ways, Judge Nelson can "stay" or hold off the changes of the initial ruling OR she can uphold her ruling and the lockout will be over until the Appeals Court makes its final decision. The NFL wants to stay Judge Nelson's ruling until the appeal is decided on but the Players want her ruling enforced through the appeal process.
What this means for fans. We'll find out today if the ruling is stayed or not. If the lockout is lifted today, the league year will begin immediately and the NFL will have to decide how to move forward. There is no system of rules in place defining team to team interaction or team to player interactions without the CBA however, they are most likely to use the rules of the previous CBA until they can agree to terms of a new CBA.
Most importantly for fans though is that free agent players can start signing with teams. That would be totally crazy if that happened today though because Free Agency usually begins in March and is pretty much wrapped up by mid April as teams prepare for the Draft. However, if it starts today, that means teams have two days to negotiate new deals with coveted Free Agents before the Draft. Signing or not singing those Free Agents will absolutely have an impact on teams' Draft plans especially in a year when more teams are expected to target need based picks rather than best player available due to the free agency period coming after the draft.
Prepare for Six nonstop days of NFL action! I'll do my best to keep you updated through all of this so stay tuned and don't hesitate to ask questions in the comments or on Twitter @SKOHR.
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