Judge Susan Nelson is doing her best to clarify the confusing labor situation on draft eve.
Nelson, who lifted the NFL lockout on Monday, has denied the league’s request for a stay on her ruling. The league wanted to keep the lockout in place and avoid starting the new league year until their appeal was heard, but Nelson was unmoved.
She wrote that the NFL “has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise.”
What this means for Thursday’s draft remains to be seen, although the NFL seems likely to immediately to ask an appeals court for a stay of Nelson’s ruling. We don’t expect the league to suddenly start signing players on Thursday, for instance.
What it means in the long run is that the NFL continues to lose in the courtroom and is almost out of legal maneuvers.
UPDATE: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Nelson said teams were under no obligation to sign free agents right away, although trades are “in question.”