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No word yet from the federal court in Minnesota, but most insiders expect Judge Susan Nelson to deliver a key ruling in Brady v. NFL on Monday.Those experts also think that Judge Nelson will rule in favour of the players on their request for a preliminary injunction that would lift the lockout.
However, the injunction will likely come with a stay, pending the inevitable appeal.
In other words, nothing will change in the current stalemate. The NFL will still be closed for business.
But the players (or whoever Judge Nelson sides with) will have won a key strategic battle and gain a significant amount of leverage in the next round of labour negotiations.
More importantly, if the ruling comes with a stay, the NFL Draft will continue as planned. Teams will not be able to trade players and they won’t be able to negotiate contracts with the ones they select. It promises to be the most subdued and least inspiring draft in league history.
If Judge Nelson were to block the lockout and force teams back to work under the previous rules, this week could be a four-day frenzy of trades, cuts, and free agent signings leading up to Thursday night’s draft that would make this the craziest week in the history of (offseason) football. Unfortunately, fans who have been unenthused by the draft build up won’t be that lucky.