NFL labor, CBA updates for April 25-May 1

FOXSports.com keeps you up to date on the NFL’s labor situation. (All times are Eastern.) Friday | Thursday | Wednesday | Tuesday | Monday | April 18-24 updates | April 11-April 17 updates

 

FRIDAY

Report: NFL receives temporary stay — 7:07 p.m.

 

A federal appeals court threw the NFL back into chaos late Friday, putting a judge’s order lifting the lockout on hold.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis granted the league’s request for a temporary stay of the injunction issued Monday that ended the 45-day lockout. Now arguments will be heard on whether that order should be overturned altogether.

”The purpose of this administrative stay is to give the court sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the motion for a stay pending appeal,” the appeals court said. Full story

 

Marshall, several Dolphins visit complex — 1:42 p.m.

 

Miami Dolphins receiver Brandon Marshall visited the team complex Friday less than a week after his wife was charged with stabbing him with a kitchen knife.

Marshall was among more than a dozen Dolphins at headquarters after a federal judge declared the NFL lockout illegal and the league lifted restrictions on team contact with players.

Marshall was briefly hospitalized after being stabbed in the abdomen and is expected to fully recover. He spoke by phone with general manager Jeff Ireland on Thursday. Full story

NFL players return to work — 12:51 p.m.

 

The NFL cleared the way for some basic football operations to begin at 8 a.m. ET Friday, four days after a federal judge declared the lockout illegal and nearly seven weeks after it began.

”From the players’ standpoint I think everybody is pleased we’re not locked out anymore, especially the rookies,” Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said on CNBC in his first public comments about the dispute since he became a named plaintiff in the antitrust lawsuit filed against the owners.

In a conference call with New York Jets season-ticket holders, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league will hold a conference call later Friday morning to address player transaction rules. The guidelines for free agency, trades and other roster moves have been uncertain in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement. That expired March 11, the same day the players’ union was disbanded to clear the way for a court fight. Full story

 

THURSDAY

Marvez: Players file courtroom counter to owners — 10:44 a.m.

The legal chess match between the NFL and plaintiff attorneys for the Brady v. NFL antitrust lawsuit continued Thursday in an appellate court.

Less than 12 hours after the league filed an emergency motion to stay the lifting of the lockout that was ordered by a federal district judge, the plaintiffs countered by requesting that they have a chance to respond to the NFL’s motion with the eighth circuit court of appeals in St. Louis.

The plaintiffs’ requested deadline for a response is noon CT Friday.

The NFL then countered with a letter arguing that a delay to the granting of a temporary stay would potentially place the league in contempt of Judge Susan Nelson’s order. NFL Players Association attorneys sent an email to players and agents Thursday morning stating they should proceed as if the league calendar year has begun. The NFL continues to enforce the lockout that bars player transactions and the start of team-sponsored offseason workouts. Full story

 

WEDNESDAY

NFL request to freeze lockout ruling denied — 10:51 p.m.

The federal judge who lifted the NFL lockout dealt another blow to the league late Wednesday, denying its request to put her ruling on hold and guaranteeing more limbo for the $9 billion business.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson wrote that the NFL ”has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise.” She dismissed the NFL’s argument that it is facing irreparable harm because of her decision Monday to end the 45-day lockout. Full story

NFL: 2011 draft could be at risk — 6:54 p.m.

The NFL claimed Wednesday that the 2011 draft will be in jeopardy if a federal district judge grants the full scope of what plaintiff attorneys want from a lifted lockout in the Brady v. NFL antitrust lawsuit.

Susan Nelson ruled Monday that the NFL must lift its player lockout, a decision that the league immediately appealed. The league has asked for a stay, a motion that Nelson is set to decide upon imminently. Full story . . .

Goodell: NFL preparing for every contingency — 11:46 a.m.

Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t know what rules will be in place for the 2011 season if the league is forced to lift its player lockout.

The NFL should learn in a relatively quick fashion whether federal district judge Susan Nelson will grant a stay as the league appeals her Monday ruling that orders the start of its calendar year. Lifting the lockout would lead to a slew of personnel moves like trades and free agency that were barred when the NFL enacted a work stoppage March 11 following the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement.

Speaking at an NFL youth initiative on Wednesday morning in Chelsea, Goodell said the league would file more legal motions in the afternoon and await Nelson’s decision. If denied, the NFL is again likely to seek relief by filing an expedited appeal and stay motion to a higher appellate court. But the lockout could still be lifted at least temporarily as that process unfolds. — Alex Marvez, Full story

 

NFLPA files motion opposing "stay" — 10:07 a.m.

According to Sports Business Journal, NFL players have filed their opposition for the NFL being granted a stay of Judge Nelson’s ruling earlier this week ending the lockout.

The players, according to the report, asked Judge Susan Nelson for the NFL to post $1 billion bond if she issues the stay.

“The players should not be prevented from working for even one day longer," players tell Judge Nelson, according to the report.

If a stay is issued, that would mean free agency and player movement would be held up until the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit hears the case. The NFL could ask for a stay Court of Appeals if Judge Nelson denies the stay. — Adam Caplan

 

TUESDAY

NFLPA wants agents to talk to teams — 7:24 p.m.

In a Q&A document sent to all NFL agents Tuesday and viewed by FOXSports.com, the NFL Players Association told free agents and their representatives to start talking to NFL teams.

“Unless and until Judge Nelson or the Court of Appeals issues another order, the lockout has been ordered to end immediately, and if the NFL does not comply, it would be in contempt of the court order. So, until you hear otherwise, if you are not under contract, Class Counsel believes that you and your agent can contact teams and shop your services to the clubs.

"Judge Nelson’s order is in effect as of 6 p.m. EDT on April 25, 2011, and unless and until that order is stayed, the clubs are not allowed to refuse to negotiate with you. If they do refuse, you should contact Class Counsel immediately … The NFL must put in place a free agency system that complies with the antitrust laws.”

Here’s the follow question from the document: Does this mean teams have to open their doors to players under contract?

“Again, unless and until Judge Nelson or the Court of Appeals issues an order staying (delaying) the lifting of the lockout, teams have to reverse the steps they put into place with the lockout, and open their doors to players under contract. If you are under contract and you choose to go to the team’s facility, class counsel believes that the club must allow you access to the facility and staff or the club will be in violation of Judge Nelson’s order. Please inform class counsel immediately if you have any problems from your club with access to the facility and/or staff.

"If you are under contract, your NFL club will likely send you instructions relating to off-season workout programs and any other rules they may have relating to the off-season.”

FOXSports.com talked to several NFL player agents who said text and email messages sent to NFL teams about their free agent players went unreturned. — Adam Caplan

 

Giants allow players to work out — 5:12 p.m.

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." Full story . . .

 

Trickle of NFL players back to work, sort of — 12:09 p.m.

The NFL is a long way from playing football.

One day after a federal judge ended a 45-day lockout, small groups of players showed up at team facilities Tuesday — let inside but told they would not be allowed to work out. Most left in a matter of minutes on a strange day with more questions than answers, and the judge said she will take at least another day to consider whether she should put her order on hold.

The league issued a statement that called for players to be "treated with courtesy and respect" if they show up. But the NFL said it needs "a few days to sort this out" before "football activities" can take place.

Buffalo cornerback Leodis McKelvin was turned away at the security gate and told to expect a call from his coach for clarity on when he could return.

"If I said I wasn’t expecting it, I’d be lying to you," said Bills teammate George Wilson. "There’s all kind of ways around and loopholes." Full story . . .

 

NFL: No ‘football’ activities allowed for now — 11:43 a.m.

The NFL says it’s not appropriate yet for players to work out at team facilities while the lockout fight plays out in court.

The league issued a statement Tuesday that called for players to be "treated with courtesy and respect" if they show up at work. But the NFL said it needs "a few days to sort this out" before "football activities" can take place.

Players started arriving at team facilities Tuesday morning. They were let inside but told they would not be allowed to work out. The federal judge who stopped the lockout also declared she will take at least another day to consider whether she should put her order on hold pending further appeals. Full story . . .

 

Judge sets hearing for labor case — 11:15 a.m.

A federal judge in Minneapolis has scheduled a Wednesday morning hearing for NFL players to respond to the league’s request for a stay of Monday’s order that lifted the lockout, Sports Business Journal reported Tuesday.

The move means the NFL will be left in legal limbo for at least another day, as some players trickle into team facilities but are still barred from working out.

Nelson gave the players until Wednesday at 9 A.M. CT to formally respond to the NFL’s request for an immediate stay of her injunction that ended the lockout. The NFL is seeking a stay pending an appeal of the ruling to the Eighth Circuit.

The stay, if granted by Nelson or the Court of Appeals, would re-institute the lockout while the appeals process plays out. Full story . . .

 

MONDAY

 

Judge lifts NFL lockout; owners to appeal — 4:19 p.m.

A federal judge in Minnesota granted players an injunction Monday to lift the NFL lockout. NFL owners are almost certain to appeal the decision.

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Brady v. NFL and also denied the owners a stay. If the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis doesn’t grant the owners a stay, the 2011 season could start in theory.

"We will promptly seek a stay from Judge Nelson pending an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes," the NFL said in a statement. "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." Full story . . .