Judge's NFL Ruling Leads To More Uncertainty


I want to tell you that Monday's ruling ordering the lockout to be lifted means football this upcoming season, but I can't.

I don't know.

And it's not as if I haven't asked. I've called as many lawyers as I could in between 6 p.m. and midnight last night.

Did Judge Susan Nelson overstep her bounds by ruling the dissolving of the union was not a sham? Will the court of appeals uphold the injunction or reverse it? Does the 2011 season begin now as the players contend? When the players show up to work today, do the teams have to let them do everything inside the facility or else be found in violation of the judge's order? Will the draft involve trades?

We are in unchartered territory. Never before has a ruling come down and, at least for a moment, a league and a group of players interpreted it differently.

The players have filed a motion to clarify the judge's decision, while the league has moved along with their appeal. The players, with workout bonuses on the line, are expected to be knocking on the door at NFL facilities. The league has instructed teams to at least let them in.

Meanwhile, the league is set to have its draft — which will happen because it is part of the expired CBA — beginning on Thursday.

Get ready for today, where things will change by the minute and chaos will unfold.

When real negotiation stopped last month, it was feared that letting the courts decide would throw everything out of whack. I'm not sure either side pictured what we have today.

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