The long awaited verdict on the players lawsuit, Brady vs. NFL, has arrived. Judge Susan Nelson has approved the injunction and ordered the league to lift the lockout, for now, although it is expected the NFL will appeal the decision immediately.
Both the NFLPA and the NFL went through weeks of intense negotiations back in March to try and agree to terms on a new CBA before the expiration of the current labor contract.
Unfortunately they failed when not able to reach an acceptable agreement on how to fairly split some nine billions dollars in revenue between players and owners.
In order to protect itself the NFLPA decertified from the NFL and chose to take the labor battle into the court systems in hopes of a fair shot at securing a new deal.
The NFL responded by locking out the players, effectively nullifying free agency and off-season workout programs.
Fast forward to April 7th, the two sides met for the first time in a Minnesota Federal Court under Judge Nelson.
Both sides argued their case — the league stating it was the players intention to decertify the entire time while the players noted irreparable financial damage because of the lockout — though it seemed she sided with the players throughout the hearing.
Afterwards she ordered the two sides back to the negotiating table while she contemplated her verdict, once again it was reported that little to no progress was made negotiating a new deal.
Now that the league has been ordered to “unlock the gates” it will be the first time teams have been able to reach out to players in well over a month, theoretically it’s back to work likely under rules similar to those that governed the 2010 season.
At least for now the injunction is a small victory for the players, moreover a small break in the clouds of a dark labor battle, although further action by the league is expected. If the appeals court grants a stay on her ruling, the lockout will continue until the appeals court can make a further decision on the case.