NFL Lockout: They're Back! Judge Rules Lockout Over!

Chuck StanecContributor IIIApril 25, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 07: An NFL logo on a microphone is seen before the start of  negotiations at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building  March 7, 2011 in Washington, DC. Representatives from the National Football League (NFL) and National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) continue to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement between players and owners.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Football is back! The lockout has been thwarted and the players have scored a huge victory—for the time being.

Early today, Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in the favor of the players' suit for an injunction of the owners' lockout. The NFL plans to appeal.

ESPN Legal Analyst, Lester Munson, said on NFL Live this evening that the owners' appeal, essentially, holds no water and that Judge Nelson's ruling, covering 89 pages, was written in a way for the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to make a very easy ruling.

The NFL is filing for a stay of Nelson's ruling, stating that her decision goes against protocol set forth by the National Labor Review Board. The players, however, made the filing in an anti-trust suit regarding the collective bargaining, not a filing as a union, which decertified weeks ago.

Munson also went on to say that this is a huge fall for the players.

Chris Mortensen, on the same show, added that trades and free agency cannot begin until the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rules on the stay. It is possible, said Mortensen, that free agency and trades could start the same day as the NFL draft.

Needless to say, this could be the craziest draft day ever.

This is a win for teams such as the Cleveland Browns who are installing a new offense with a young quarterback in Colt McCoy and were concerned the lockout might derail their seasons before they started.

As we speak, agents and player representatives are being advised on how to advise their clients by the Trade Commission. Players could report to their facilities and begin working out, rehabbing and meeting with their coaches as soon as tomorrow morning.