One team let their players work out. At least two didn’t even let them in facility. And a few others opened their doors, only to find nobody was on the other side.
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There might have been stranger days in the history of the NFL, but Tuesday has to be included in that conversation.
It was the first day since U.S. District Judge Susan Nelson lifted the owners’ lockout, but it was far from business as usual in the league embroiled in a labor dispute that seems to grow uglier each day.
Three Giants showed up here at the team facility and were allowed to use the equipment.
"I am going to come back as long as the door is open," said defensive lineman Chris Canty.
"There was no tension here. Coaches are excited to have guys back in the building," said Canty, who added that he spoke with head coach Tom Coughlin and other coaches.
Around the country, however, things weren’t quite so cordial. Four members of the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills cornerback Leodis McKelvin couldn’t get into their team’s facilities.
At least two teams, the Green Bay Packers and Oakland Raiders, opened their doors but no players showed up, even to say hi.
For the most part, teams followed the league’s recommendation that doors be opened, players be treated with respect, but equipment be kept off limits until the lockout issue is completely resolved.
While four Dallas Cowboys players were allowed inside, they weren’t permitted to work out. Similar weight room restrictions applied for Steelers safety Ryan Clark and quarterback Charlie Batch.
And for Wednesday?
Well, it will be back to court for the players and owners. Nelson set a deadline of 10 a.m. ET for the players to respond to the NFL’s request for a stay. According to ESPN, the players are also hoping to make the league officially start the year, with the owners having until 6 p.m. to reply. She will then rule on whether to put the lockout back into place, issue a stay, or reaffirm the lockout is over and teams must "start the year" immediately.
If she picks the third option, free agency could start the day before or the same day — as the league holds the first round of its draft.
Talk about chaos.
Even more chaotic than yesterday, if that is possible.
The situation in Cleveland might best sum up the day.
Three Browns players were met by the team’s head of security and handed a letter with the rules they were required to follow. Wide receiver Joshua Cribbs thought they weren’t allowed to work out, but tight end Ben Watson disagreed and theought they were allowed.
When asked if he touched the weights, Watson said, “Yeah, they didn’t shock me.”