After suffering another legal loss on Wednesday, the NFL on Thursday issued a statement outlining how teams should proceed with the lockout having been lifted. The league said it would update teams soon on the specifics on how to move forward.
Here’s the statement:
"The NFL clubs have been notified that we have requested from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals a stay of the preliminary injunction issued late Monday afternoon by the Federal District Court. Pending further guidance from the Eighth Circuit, we believe it is appropriate for clubs to take additional steps in response to the preliminary injunction. The clubs were informed of the steps below that will be effective on Friday at 8 am ET following tonight’s first round of the NFL Draft. Clubs are free to contact players immediately to advise them of the hours that the facility will be open for their use, to schedule medical and rehabilitation activity, and to arrange meetings with coaches or related activity, such as film study or classroom work.
1. Players will be permitted to use club facilities for physical examinations, rehabilitation and medical treatment, as scheduled by the club.
2. Clubs will be permitted to distribute playbooks, game film and other similar materials to players.
3. Coaches may meet with players for the purpose of discussing any materials distributed to players under item 2 above, as well as the club’s off-season workout program, its schedule of mini-camps, Organized Team Activities (“OTAs”), and other similar matters.
4. Voluntary off-season workout programs, including OTAs and classroom instruction, may begin subject to the rules in Article XXXV of the 2006 CBA and Appendix L. Participating players will be paid $130 per day, provided the player fulfills the club’s reasonable off-season workout requirements. Such workouts will count toward the requirements of any off-season workout bonus in the player’s contract.
5. On days during which no official off-season workouts or OTAs are scheduled under item 4 above, nothing shall prevent the club from permitting any player to use the club facility to work out on his own on a voluntary, unpaid basis during normal business hours, or such other hours as may be set by the club, provided: (i) there is no participation or supervision by any coach, trainer or other club personnel; and (ii) the club has first verified that the player has an existing medical insurance policy in place. Players without such personal coverage should not be permitted to work out at the club facility on an unsupervised basis under this item 5, but may do so under item 4 above. Unsupervised workouts will not count toward the requirements of any off-season workout bonus in the player’s contract. This item 5 will apply both prior to and after the commencement of the club’s official off-season workout program.
6. Mandatory and voluntary mini-camps may begin subject to the rules in Article XXXVI of the 2006 CBA.
7. The league office will promptly make arrangements to resume counseling, rehabilitation and treatment activities in connection with the substances of abuse and steroid programs. We will advise clubs as to when and on what basis testing will commence.
8. Players may participate in club-sponsored charitable and community relations events.
With respect to player transactions (such as signings, trades of player contracts, terminations, tryouts, etc.), we plan to distribute to all clubs, likely tomorrow, a comprehensive set of procedures governing such transactions. This will include the timing for the commencement of the 2011 League Year, free agent signings and other customary player transactions."
From Wednesday: NFL loses again
The NFL is falling behind in its court fight with the players over the future of the $9 billion business.
The federal judge who lifted the lockout two days ago dealt another blow to the league late Wednesday, denying its request to put her ruling on hold pending appeals and guaranteeing more limbo for the 32 teams, thousands of players and millions of fans.
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson wrote that the NFL ''has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise.'' She dismissed the NFL's argument that she didn't have jurisdiction and that it is facing irreparable harm because of her decision to end the 45-day lockout.
''The world of 'chaos' the NFL claims it has been thrust into — essentially the 'free-market' system this nation otherwise willfully operates under — is not compelled by this court's order,'' Nelson wrote.
The judge acknowledged that her decision will be appealed to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, and NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that step was being taken.
For more from The Associated Press, CLICK HERE.
Now what? Even Goodell doesn’t know
Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell doesn't know what rules will be in place for the 2011 season if the league is forced to lift its player lockout.
Before the stay request was denied, Goodell said he remains uncertain about when the league must begin normal operations or the guidelines that Nelson will enact.
One possibility is the return of labor rules from the 2010 season that included no salary cap, minimum team spending requirements for players and the need for six accrued seasons for a veteran to become an unrestricted free agent. Player representatives could push Nelson for the more lenient free-agent designation that existed through the first 17 years of the CBA.
For more from FoxSports.com’s Alex Marvez, CLICK HERE.
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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.