NFL Lockout Is Back in Effect
After building momentum this week with the NFL draft, the league has decided to kill the excitement by locking out the players again Friday night. Personnel had returned earlier in the day when the ban was lifted to go over playbooks and workout regimens. However, the reunion was short-lived when a judge’s order lifting the lockout was temporarily stayed.
Team owners had their first legal victory when 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis overruled U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s decision to lift the 45-day lockout. The NFL decided to reinstate the lockout a few hours later.
“Teams have been told that the prior lockout rules are reinstated effective immediately,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press.
“Nobody’s happy about any of this,” Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson said. “But it is what it is. The lockout is back into effect.”
This puts the $9 billion industry in jeopardy once again as owners and players are unable to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA). Previous attempts at an agreement broke down March 11, which caused the initial lockout.
Players have not been shy about venting their frustrations:
“Chaotic. I dunno where to go. Just gonna sit @ the airport till they decide,” tweeted Minnesota Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian.
Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski also took to Twitter: “Gosh I just wanna get back to work and play! I feel bad for our fans having to put up with this.”
Another worry about the lockout is the future of drafted players like Detroit Lions pick Nick Fairley who remained unsigned. Many will face an uncertain future once the draft concludes on Saturday.
“The owners will create a huge injustice to their own GMs and personnel departments if they don’t allow the signing of undrafted free agents,” said agent Joe Linta, whose list of clients include Baltimore QB Joe Flacco. “They may not care about the players, but they should at least help their own scouts, coaches and personnel people who have worked so hard in the scouting process.”
With preseaon merely three months away, things are not looking good for the 2011-2012 NFL season. What are your thoughts? Do you side with the players or owners? Let us know below.