Mar 14, 2011
So, how about that NCAA Tournament? Honestly, if you are like us and are sick and tired of hearing about the NFL lockout and legal proceedings, NCAA basketball will provide a welcome distraction this week. But when all is said and done, will we have football in 2011? That’s the question fantasy junkies want answered. Luckily, a good number of people believe we will.
Essential Lockout Links
As player news is desperately tough to come by at this time, we wanted to provide you a handful of links to help you understand this lockout and litigation process a little bit better. There is a lot of misinformation out there right now, and it’s important to realize that we’re still six months from the regular season and a lot can happen in the courts – or even out of court – between now and then.
If the court system rules over the next three to six weeks that the owners cannot lock out a decertified NFLPA, which is very much a possibility, the NFL off-season and regular season would continue under the 2010 CBA rules, reports the Washington Post. These rules would include an uncapped year, but players would need six years of service time to become unrestricted free agents. If you’re a football fan and don’t care how the situation gets resolved as long as there’s football, this is probably the best possible outcome. Why? First of all, the football off-season and regular season will continue unimpeded (well, at least as unimpeded as it can get at this point). Second, the owners would lose their biggest leverage – the lockout. Third, the players wouldn’t exactly be happy with the rules, either. The uncapped year in 2010 was not kind to the players as owners didn’t spend a lot, and the players hate the notion that they need six years of service time to gain unrestricted status. Should the courts block the lockout, we will have football and both sides (especially the owners) would likely have incentive to get a deal done.
Continuing further down this path, the great Andrew Brandt of National Football Post and ESPN posted an easy-to-follow Q&A about where the NFL is headed and why things broke down. He’s the best in the business on these matters.
SI.com’s sports law expert Michael McCann examines a handful of possible outcomes in great detail with his lockout/litigation primer. If you’re interested in the blood and guts of the situation, this is recommended reading, for sure.
Owners and legal analysts believe losing the entire 2011 season is not really in the picture so early in the off-season.
So, there you have it. We’re in uncharted waters, and there is absolutely no way to predict which way this thing will go. But it’s not time to panic about losing part of the 2011 season just yet.
- Joe Dolan