At team sites around the National Football League Tuesday, players were told they could not work out, meet with coaches or, in some instances, enter the building.
But that was not the case for New York Giants defensive tackle Chris Canty when he arrived at the team’s East Rutherford, N.J., headquarters early Tuesday afternoon.
"There was no tension here," Canty said, standing next to a black Cadillac Escalade outside the building. "I know that hasn’t exactly been the (same) around the rest of the league, but coming in here was like we never left. Coaches are excited to have guys back in the building, and we’re just excited to move forward and get back to work."
Canty said he met with head coach Tom Coughlin, as well as position coaches, and also did an upper-body workout in the weight room.
When reporters told Canty that players who reported to the Jets practice facility in Florham Park, N.J., were told they could not work out or meet with coaches, he said, "OK, but this is the New York Football Giants … it’s not the Jets."
Canty was one of three Giants, along with wide receiver Mario Manningham and running back Brandon Jacobs, who made appearances Tuesday following US District Judge Susan Nelson’s decision to lift the lockout late Monday afternoon, writing in an 89-page order that it was causing "irreparable harm" to the players.
In a statement, the NFL said players need to be "treated with courtesy and respect" but also asked for some time to figure out exactly how things are going to proceed, because the league is already asking for a stay of Nelson’s ruling.
Giants vice president of communications Pat Hanlon issued a statement on behalf of the Giants which read, "In light of last night’s ruling by Judge Nelson, we were directed by the league that if our players showed up at the Timex Performance Center today to treat them with courtesy and respect. That message, which sounds a lot like how we always treat our players, was reinforced to our staff by ownership."
Canty is one of several Giants due a significant workout bonus this offseason. Eli Manning and offensive lineman Shawn Andrews reportedly have two of the highest workout bonuses in the league, at $500,000 each. Canty and safety Antrel Rolle each have $250,000 bonuses, and defensive end Justin Tuck has a $150,000 bonus.
Canty said that whether showing up Tuesday is put toward that bonus or not, he was happy to be there.
"Whether it counts or not, I’m here," the seven-year veteran said. "That’s the important thing. This is gonna go a long ways towards our team being successful, us working out here."
Canty said he was in Charlotte, N.C., visiting his family when he heard about the lockout being lifted. Once he confirmed that was the case, he said he jumped on the first flight to New York he could Tuesday morning.