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SteelCrazy
04-25-2011, 07:45 PM
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ordered an immediate end to the lockout Monday, siding with the players in their fight with the owners over how to divide the $9 billion business.

Nelson granted a request for a preliminary injunction to lift the two-month lockout, saying she was swayed by the players' argument that the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987 is hurting their careers.

The plaintiffs "have made a strong showing that allowing the League to continue their 'lockout' is presently inflicting, and will continue to inflict, irreparable harm upon them, particularly when weighed against the lack of any real injury that would be imposed on the NFL by issuing the preliminary injunction," Nelson wrote.

The NFL said it would ask Nelson to put her order on hold with a stay so it can pursue an expedited appeal to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

"We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes," the league said. "We are confident that the Eighth Circuit will agree. But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal."

Said Jim Quinn, an attorney for the players: "They better act quickly, because as of right now there's no stay and, presumably, players could sign with teams. There are no guidelines as of right now, so they have to put something in place quickly.

"It is their league: They can put it whatever they decide. If they put in something not restrictive to the players and fair to the players, that is fine. If not, we will litigate."

If the injunction is upheld, the NFL must resume business, although under what guidelines is uncertain.

It could invoke the 2010 rules for free agency, meaning players would need six seasons of service before becoming unrestricted free agents when their contracts expire; previously, it was four years. The requirement for unrestricted free agents would be four years rather than the three years before 2010. There also was no salary cap in 2010, meaning teams could spend as much _ or as little _ as they wanted.

Also, the NFL would need to determine what or if offseason workouts can be held while the appeal is being heard.

Clearly, it's complicated.

The NFL has even argued to Nelson that stopping the lockout would open all 32 teams up to additional antitrust claims simply for working together to solve the labor dispute. Antitrust claims carry triple damages for any harm proven, meaning hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

At the hearing before Nelson on April 6, the crux of the argument from NFL lawyer David Boies was that the court shouldn't have control of a conflict that grew out of a labor dispute. Boies even tried to lighten the mood by telling her, "No lawyer ever wants to stand in front of a judge and say, 'You don't have jurisdiction.'"

The owners, in support of their argument, pointed to their pending unfair labor charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board that the players didn't negotiate in good faith.

Nelson disagreed _ and threw cold water on that hope, too.

"Although the NFL has filed a charge here, the NLRB has yet to issue any complaint and, in this court's considered judgment, it is likely that the Board will dismiss the charge," she wrote in her ruling.

Owners imposed the lockout after talks broke down March 11 and the players disbanded their union. A group of players filed the injunction request along with a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the league.

Nelson rejected the league's prediction that the NLRB would see the union's breakup as temporary, thus supporting the assertion that the dissolution was purely a tactical move.

"There is no legal support for any requirement that a disclaimer be permanent," Nelson wrote. "Employees have the right not only to organize as a union but also to refrain from such representation and, as relevant here, to 'de-unionize.'"

Nelson also stated that the so-called decertification was legitimate because of "serious consequences" for the players.

"This court need not resolve the debate about whether their motive was influenced by the expectation of this litigation," she wrote, calling that question irrelevant as long as the union followed through on the breakup.

Nelson heard arguments on the injunction at a hearing on April 6 and ordered the two sides to resume mediation while she was considering her decision. The owners and players, who failed to reach consensus after 16 days of mediated talks earlier this year, met over four days with a federal magistrate but did not announce any progress on solving the impasse.

They are not scheduled to meet again until May 16, four days after another judge holds a hearing on whether players should get damages in their related fight with owners over some $4 billion in broadcast revenue.

And now comes Nelson's decision to lift the injunction.

"(T)he public ramifications of this dispute exceed the abstract principles of the antitrust laws, as professional football involves many layers of tangible economic impact, ranging from broadcast revenues down to concessions sales," she wrote. "And, of course, the public interest represented by the fans of professional football _ who have a strong investment in the 2011 season _ is an intangible interest that weighs against the lockout. In short, this particular employment dispute is far from a purely private argument over compensation."

With appeals expected, the fight seems likely to drag on through the spring and, possibly, into the summer. The closer it gets to August, when training camps and the preseason get into full swing, the more likely it becomes that regular season games will be lost.

The NFL is going forward with the draft, which begins Thursday night.

Dolphins alternate player representative John Denney said he didn't think the ruling was the end of the dispute.

"Right now we got what we wanted, but it may be temporary," he said. "We'll have to let the judicial process play out."

And the antitrust lawsuit is pending, too, with lead plaintiffs that include MVP quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. The suit has been combined with two other similar claims from retirees, former players and rookies-to-be, with Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller the lead plaintiff in that group.

Osi Umenyiora, the New York Giants defensive end and one of the plaintiffs, called the ruling a "win for the players and for the fans" in a statement.

"The lockout is bad for everyone, and players will continue to fight it," Umenyiora said. "We hope that this will bring us one step closer to playing the game we love."

http://www.newser.com/article/d9mr07f00 ... ppeal.html (http://www.newser.com/article/d9mr07f00/federal-judge-backs-players-grants-injunction-to-lift-nfl-lockout-league-promises-appeal.html)

SteelBucks
04-25-2011, 09:01 PM
If a stay isn't granted, we might have player movement in Free Agency sometime this week.

Djfan
04-25-2011, 09:25 PM
If a stay isn't granted, we might have player movement in Free Agency sometime this week.


With no salary cap this could get ugly.

steelblood
04-25-2011, 10:03 PM
If a stay isn't granted, we might have player movement in Free Agency sometime this week.


With no salary cap this could get ugly.

I agree.

But, we really only need to sign one good starting corner to be very competitive.

Colbert's first call should be to Asamough. Offer him 10 mil per and tell him he is all we were missing for a championship. It is less than he can make, but he may take it to play for a winner. Next call should be to Ike (8 mil per). Then, Carlos Rogers (7 mil per). First guy to call back wins!

We need to be aggressive here and try to get one corner who can be a #1 guy.

SteelCrazy
04-25-2011, 11:11 PM
Judge ends lockout; owners file appeal

MINNEAPOLIS -- Seven weeks into the NFL lockout, players have an early triumph over the owners in court.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ordered an immediate end to the lockout Monday, siding with the players in their bitter fight with the owners over how to divide the $9 billion business.

The fate of the 2011 season remained in limbo: The NFL responded by filing a notice of appeal questioning whether Nelson exceeded her jurisdiction, seeking relief from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis. Hours later, the league filed a motion for an expedited stay, meaning it wants Nelson to freeze her ruling to let the appeals process play out.

What will happen in the next few days is murky, too.

Players may very well show up at team facilities on Tuesday; whether they'll be allowed access is unclear.

A league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the players' organization -- now a trade association and not a union -- emailed players late Monday night, advising them they are legally entitled to show up at team facilities Tuesday and that teams are not allowed to block their access.

"Be advised any player going to work tomorrow is doing so under the ruling that Judge Nelson rendered today," the email said, according to the source.

"Judge Nelson's court order prevents the clubs from locking out players under contract, so they can show up for work. Unless and until the judge issues an order for a stay [delay of the injunction], the teams will be in violation of Judge Nelson's order if they don't allow access."

DeMaurice Smith, former executive director of the now-defunct NFL Players' Association, had said earlier Monday night on ESPN2 on "NFL Live" that they planned to give players "guidance" about what to do moving forward and said players were eager to resume court-ordered mediation to resolve the pending litigation.

"I told my guys if they are under contract, they are allowed to go into the facility tomorrow to work out, get treatment and watch film," Oakland Raiders tight end Zach Miller said.

Smith said players were eager to resume court-ordered mediation to resolve the fight.

"My hope is really is that there's somebody on the other side who loves football as much as our players and fans do," he said.

"We're in a 'Wild West' right now. Football is back to business, but guess what? There's no rules. There's a lot of positive to that, but there's also a lot of negatives," said linebacker Ben Leber, one of the 10 plaintiffs in the still-pending antitrust lawsuit filed against the league when the union broke up last month.

Nelson's ruling was a stern rebuke of the NFL's case, hardly a surprise given the court's history with the league and her pattern of questioning during a hearing here three weeks ago in St. Paul, Minn.

In a room packed with lawyers, players and league officials, Nelson politely but persistently questioned NFL lawyer David Boies about his repeated argument that she shouldn't have jurisdiction over a labor dispute with an unfair negotiation charge against the players pending with the National Labor Relations Board.

In her ruling, Nelson rejected that contention. She recognized the NFL Players Association's decision to "de-unionize" as legitimate because it has "serious consequences" for the players.

Nelson even referenced her colleague, U.S. District Judge David Doty, who has frequently ruled for the players in the past. Not only did she declare that players are likely to suffer harm by the lockout, a legal requirement for granting the injunction, Nelson wrote that they're already feeling the hurt now.

She cited their short careers, arguing that monetary damages wouldn't be enough relief.

What Nelson didn't do on Monday, however, was tackle the issue of the antitrust lawsuit filed last month when the union broke up. That, she wrote, "must wait another day."

If the injunction is upheld, the NFL must resume business in some fashion.

It could invoke the 2010 rules for free agency, meaning players would need six seasons of service before becoming unrestricted free agents when their contracts expire; previously, it was four years. The requirement for restricted free agents would be four years rather than the three years before 2010. There also was no salary cap in 2010, meaning teams could spend as much -- or as little -- as they wanted.

And the NFL would need to determine whether offseason workouts can be held while the appeal is pending.

Owners imposed the lockout after talks broke down March 11 and the players disbanded their union. A group of players filed the injunction request along with a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the league.

Jim Quinn, an attorney for the players, said the pressure is on the league.

"They better act quickly, because as of right now there's no stay and, presumably, players could sign with teams," Quinn said. "There are no guidelines as of right now, so they have to put something in place quickly."

In a statement, the NFL again argued its belief that "federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes" and expressed confidence the appeals court would agree.

"But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal," the NFL said.

The NFL has argued that stopping the lockout would open all 32 teams up to additional antitrust claims simply for working together to solve the labor dispute. Antitrust claims carry triple damages for any harm proven, meaning hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake.

In the request for the expedited stay, the NFL argued a "reasonable prospect of success" on appeal.

League attorneys wrote that without a stay, teams would be forced to choose "between the irreparable harm of unrestricted free agency or the irreparable harm of more treble-damages lawsuits," pain that would be felt immediately. They also contended a hold on the injunction is in the public interest, letting the appeals process play out before "there are fundamental and irreversible changes in the relationships between and among" the two sides.

The relationship between the two sides has been in rough shape for months.

Nelson heard arguments on the injunction at a hearing on April 6 and ordered the two sides to resume mediation while she was considering her decision. The owners and players, who failed to reach consensus after 16 days of mediated talks earlier this year, met over four days with a federal magistrate but did not announce any progress on solving the impasse.

They are not scheduled to meet again until May 16, four days after Doty holds a hearing on whether players should get damages in their related fight with owners over some $4 billion in broadcast revenue.

Osi Umenyiora, the New York Giants defensive end and one of the plaintiffs, called the ruling a "win for the players and for the fans" in a statement.

"The lockout is bad for everyone, and players will continue to fight it," Umenyiora said. "We hope that this will bring us one step closer to playing the game we love."

New York Jets guard Brandon Moore called it a good day for the players, but recognized "there's still some legal wrangling that needs to go on."

"This has been frustrating," Moore said. "You're working out on your own, trying to set up drills, trying to find a field somewhere, trying to find a time to get together. I mean, we're professional athletes here. We shouldn't be going through this. On the same token, these were the only cards we were left with."

With appeals expected, the fight seems likely to drag on through the spring and, possibly, into the summer. The closer it gets to August, when training camps and the preseason get into full swing, the more likely it becomes that regular season games could be lost.

That's when fans will really start to sweat this, and the public interest in this case did not go overlooked in Nelson's ruling.

"This particular employment dispute is far from a purely private argument over compensation," she wrote.

Still, kicker Jay Feely, Arizona's player rep before the NFLPA dissolved, was vociferous in reacting to the decision.

"The players have said all along, 'The law is on our side.' Judge Nelson's ruling reaffirms our contention," Feely said.

"We're thrilled that it looks like football might be on," Smith said Monday night.

Speaking to ESPN, Smith added: "If we're in a world where players are actually suing so they can play football ... that tells me we've lost our way."

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=6424084

feltdizz
04-25-2011, 11:15 PM
If a stay isn't granted, we might have player movement in Free Agency sometime this week.


With no salary cap this could get ugly.

How can owners offer players all this cash if they are struggling? :wink:

SteelCrazy
04-25-2011, 11:15 PM
This could get really ugly. With this type of ruling, even though it may seem very minuscule, could cause the owners to pursue options not originally thought possible. We may be looking at the end of the 2011 season, before it even starts.

RuthlessBurgher
04-26-2011, 12:20 AM
If a stay isn't granted, we might have player movement in Free Agency sometime this week.


With no salary cap this could get ugly.

There was no salary cap last year, and spending actually went down. People assumed that no salary cap would mean wild spending, but the opposite occurred. When there is a salary cap, there is also a salary floor (a minimum amount teams must spend on players). When the salary cap was eliminated, so was the salary floor, so teams didn't have to spend as much as they had in previous seasons.

fordfixerskid
04-26-2011, 12:20 AM
This could get really ugly. With this type of ruling, even though it may seem very minuscule, could cause the owners to pursue options not originally thought possible. We may be looking at the end of the 2011 season, before it even starts.

I think this whole situation has been a mess from the word 'go'

SteelCrazy
04-26-2011, 12:27 AM
This could get really ugly. With this type of ruling, even though it may seem very minuscule, could cause the owners to pursue options not originally thought possible. We may be looking at the end of the 2011 season, before it even starts.

I think this whole situation has been a mess from the word 'go'

couldnt agree more....

hawaiiansteel
04-26-2011, 02:36 AM
When there is a salary cap, there is also a salary floor (a minimum amount teams must spend on players). When the salary cap was eliminated, so was the salary floor, so teams didn't have to spend as much as they had in previous seasons.


no salary floor makes Mike Brown a very happy man...

http://img.freebase.com/api/trans/image_thumb/en/mike_brown?pad=1&errorid=0&maxheight=250&mode=fillcropmid&maxwidth=320

StarSpangledSteeler
04-26-2011, 04:38 AM
If a stay isn't granted, we might have player movement in Free Agency sometime this week.


With no salary cap this could get ugly.

Colbert's first call should be to Asamough. Offer him 10 mil per and tell him he is all we were missing for a championship. It is less than he can make, but he may take it to play for a winner. Next call should be to Ike (8 mil per). Then, Carlos Rogers (7 mil per). First guy to call back wins!

We need to be aggressive here and try to get one corner who can be a #1 guy.

I agree with this line of thinking for many reasons: (1) The odds of an "entire season lock-out" are very small. We're going to have football in some form this year, so the Rooneys need not worry losing the year one bonus money. (2) The players may "panic" slightly into taking a sure deal now for less money. Once the new CBA is reached, the market price will go right back up. (3) The new salary cap should be higher (if it changes at all) due to the rookie wage scale decrease, so it's not like we're crippling ourselves. (4) We can save a ton of cap room by cutting some of our high-priced veterans. (5) We are right in the middle of a huge "Super Bowl window". Now is the time to spend and win. We can rebuild later. But we probably can't win more rings without some serious upgrades to our secondary.

Scarletfire1970
04-26-2011, 07:49 AM
This could get really ugly. With this type of ruling, even though it may seem very minuscule, could cause the owners to pursue options not originally thought possible. We may be looking at the end of the 2011 season, before it even starts.

I think this whole situation has been a mess from the word 'go'

Thanks to our commish, Rodger Goodell.

Oviedo
04-26-2011, 08:52 AM
This could get really ugly. With this type of ruling, even though it may seem very minuscule, could cause the owners to pursue options not originally thought possible. We may be looking at the end of the 2011 season, before it even starts.

I think this whole situation has been a mess from the word 'go'

Thanks to our commish, Rodger Goodell.

...and Demarcus Smith of the NFLPA.

steelblood
04-26-2011, 10:28 AM
This could get really ugly. With this type of ruling, even though it may seem very minuscule, could cause the owners to pursue options not originally thought possible. We may be looking at the end of the 2011 season, before it even starts.

I think this whole situation has been a mess from the word 'go'

Thanks to our commish, Rodger Goodell.

...and Demarcus Smith of the NFLPA.
You mean the guy who used to represent the union that no longer exists and now represents the players as a group with no :wink: formal bond or organization :wink: but still somehow has negotiating power? Nah, he seems ok. :wink: :wink: :wink: :wink:

feltdizz
04-26-2011, 11:40 AM
This could get really ugly. With this type of ruling, even though it may seem very minuscule, could cause the owners to pursue options not originally thought possible. We may be looking at the end of the 2011 season, before it even starts.

I think this whole situation has been a mess from the word 'go'

Thanks to our commish, Rodger Goodell.

...and Demarcus Smith of the NFLPA.

whether you want to admit it or not the players won this round...

ikestops85
04-26-2011, 01:54 PM
I really don't care who wins what. I just want them to play football this year. In my mind they are all crybabies. Neither side is getting screwed. This should have been settled months ago but instead they feel the need to risk a portion of that pot of gold they are fighting over.

SteelBucks
04-26-2011, 05:10 PM
Clark and Batch reported to work this morning. They met with the coaches but were not allowed to use the weight room. Isn't that a violation of the court order? :stirpot


LET'S GO PENS!!!!

feltdizz
04-26-2011, 05:33 PM
Clark and Batch reported to work this morning. They met with the coaches but were not allowed to use the weight room. Isn't that a violation of the court order? :stirpot


LET'S GO PENS!!!!

The owners are going to look real bad if this keeps up. Goodell is the most hated in all of sports right now.

The Pens are killing me... Still impressed given the absence of Malkin and Crosby.

Oviedo
04-26-2011, 05:43 PM
Clark and Batch reported to work this morning. They met with the coaches but were not allowed to use the weight room. Isn't that a violation of the court order? :stirpot


LET'S GO PENS!!!!

The owners are going to look real bad if this keeps up. Goodell is the most hated in all of sports right now.

The Pens are killing me... Still impressed given the absence of Malkin and Crosby.

Add Demarcus Smith to most hated!!!!!!!!!

Eddie Spaghetti
04-26-2011, 05:47 PM
it's demaurice smith.

ikestops85
04-26-2011, 05:49 PM
it's demaurice smith.

him too! :lol:

Eddie Spaghetti
04-26-2011, 06:09 PM
they both suck!!!!

feltdizz
04-26-2011, 07:29 PM
If it wasn't Damaurice Smith it would be some other guy being the villain. Anyone negotiating with Goodell has to be shrewed.

Sugar
04-26-2011, 08:18 PM
If it wasn't Damaurice Smith it would be some other guy being the villain. Anyone negotiating with Goodell has to be shrewed.

:Agree

I really don't have a problem with Smith right now. He's working in his client's interest and appears to be doing a good job.