May 17, 2011
Although we would much rather be talking about OTAs and minicamps, most of these blogs have centered on the labor situation, and unfortunately that will be the case yet again today. However, we will also update you on player-led workouts from around the league, as some have taken place since Friday’s blog, which detailed what each team has or hasn’t done so far.
Courts grants motion for full stay of lockout … which gives the league the right to continue to keep the doors closed until their appeal, which will be heard on June 3, is ruled on sometime in the 30-45 days after. However, with this being an expedited process, we could an answer sooner. The motion was granted on the same day the two sides returned to mediation in Minnesota. The league presented a proposal to the players, but it wasn’t considered detailed, instead just providing key points for a jumping off point. NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith said, “We obviously hoped that the circuit would not grant the stay and that football would come back for our fans and our players.” According to multiple legal experts, Monday’s ruling was a huge victory for the league, especially with the court stating, “Our present view is that Judge Nelson’s interpretation is unlikely to prevail.” With the ruling coming in their favor, NFL general counsel hoped things would move along, saying, “We have an opportunity to resolve this matter and get the game back on the field, and that really should be our exclusive focus — Not litigation, not stays or injunctions, things like that. That’s not going to solve anything. I’m glad that it came out the way that it did. But it’s just one step in a process and we need to focus on negotiation. That’s the only way we’re going to resolve this.” If you’re a fan looking for a glimmer of hope coming out of Monday, here’s a quote from Michael Hausfeld, lead lawyer for the Eller class, “When we met this morning, I think there was a great deal of skepticism expressed, that we would receive a proposal. And we have a proposal. It is probably not one that would be acceptable as is, but it clearly opens the dialogue and breaches a stalemate that previously existed.”
- The Lions held a workout on Monday that included about 30 players, including QB Matthew Stafford, who said, “It’s good to be back out doing it again. There’s going to be workouts, and I’m going to be throwing, too, for sure. I’m not coming all the way up here and not throwing.” It was reported that Stafford looked sharp and he felt the shoulder he had surgery on in January had healed up well.
- Jay Cutler announced the Bear players were “locked and loaded” for team workouts, which could start this week, although he noted that only offensive players would be gathered. This comes just a week after backup QB Caleb Hanie said the team didn’t have any immediate plans to workout together.
- Thanks to Twitter, Viking rookie QB Christian Ponder set up some workouts in Florida with WRs Percy Harvin and Sidney Rice.