NFL teams plan to open facilities Friday morning

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NFL teams are turning players away from team facilities this morning. But they won’t do that tomorrow, barring an appeals court giving the league an immediate stay of Judge Susan Nelson’s order ending the lockout.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said on today’s PFT Live that, unless something happens with the appeals court this afternoon, players should be allowed into team facilities tomorrow.

“We — just moments ago — notified our clubs that we think it’s appropriate under the circumstances to take additional steps in response to the injunction,” Aiello said. “So the facilities will open tomorrow at 8 a.m. Eastern time. In the meantime, clubs are free immediately to start contacting players and let them know when the facilities will be open for use.”

Aiello said players can also go to team headquarters for medical exams, meetings with coaches, distribution of playbooks and film study, among other things. And that all 32 clubs can start setting up schedules for organized team activities.

Shortly after Aiello’s appearance, the NFL issued a statement saying that voluntary workouts can begin as well. Players will be paid $130 a day for showing up and, more importantly, these workouts will count toward any offseason workout bonus in the player’s contract. So for players like D’Brickashaw Ferguson, this news could be worth $750,000.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the league year has begun: Transactions like trades and free agent signings can’t start just yet.

“Judge Nelson said it was up to us to determine how to proceed, and we think in light of the fact that the first round of the draft is tonight, clubs are fully focused on that,” Aiello said. “The best way to proceed is for the veterans to start working out at facilities tomorrow, and then we’ll set up the process of starting the league year, which would include player trades and player signings. . . . No player transactions until we start the league year.”

So there will be no trades of players under contract today, although it’s at least theoretically possible that the league year could start tomorrow and players under contract could be traded tomorrow and the next day, during Rounds 2-7 of the draft.

Of course, all of this is moot if the appeals court ruling goes the way the NFL is hoping.

“If they issue that stay, these arrangements would change, obviously,” Aiello said.

So stay tuned.

51 responses to “NFL teams plan to open facilities Friday morning

  1. Why would they shoot themselves in the foot and not allow player trades during the first round of the draft? From a team betterment standpoint, it’s illogical.

  2. Ugh…

    START FREE AGENCY JERKS!!!

    ALLOW PLAYER/DRAFT PICK TRADES!!!

    Make tonight more interesting by starting the league year immediately. It would be the most amazing draft ever, complete with free agent signings and player trades.

  3. But WHY? Why would they prevent FA signings and trading on the 1st round draft day? It’s ridiculous. It’s like the NFL is conspiring against the Eagles so that Kolb can’t get traded for a draft pick this year.

    I bet this is because nobody felt like having to work hard today.

  4. This is all a bunch of poo…screw the appeal and get back to the table. All this sitting on your thumbs is doing squat.

  5. Here’s a fun thought, with no CBA and more importantly, no Union, can the league unilaterally decide to push back the beginning of the 2011 year to July 1st?

    Meaning the doors would be open, players could work out, meet and rehab at the team facilities, however no player movement other than re-signing your own players.

    That would be interesting workaround to the lockout, in that the lock out would be lifted, but players aren’t getting new contracts.

  6. Will teams still cut pay and layoff employees with players returning? That really made sense, no players in the off season, which means cost should be down. Now players are back and cost will go up, (workouts, medical, equipment etc…) but no employees will be laid off. The owners are something……….

  7. You jested in the previous story about reseating the arrest meter to 0 over an obstinate owner.

    Three questions

    1. What would really happen if one of the owners keeps the gates locked?

    2. What is the chance that one of them would risk that?

    3. Who are the likely candidates to do so?

  8. Basically if the Stay is issued, the NFL will win this in the long run. It will now turn into a long drawn out court procees that will more than likely last well into the regular season. That means that the players will not be receiving their paychecks…….that will force the players hands and the union will have to agree to the leauges terms……………..I think?

  9. What a shock. What a surprise.

    Goodell’s an excellent lawyer. He wasn’t going to put the league in the position of being in contempt of court. That could affect the appeals court’s attitude about the appeal.

    At the same time, they’re doing the things that are minimally necessary in order to avoid being in contempt of court, while avoiding the larger steps in hope that the 8th Circuit will either stay or overturn Judge Nelson’s decision. In effect, they’re complying, but dragging their feet.

    Either they really believe the 8th Circuit will issue an emergency stay, or they’re doing this as a sop to the militant owners who want to pick a fight.

    But you had to know that they’d open the facilities. To ignore the judge’s order that flagrantly and that completely would have put the league in severe jeopardy.

  10. Really disappointing as an Ealges fan we won’t be able to trade Kolb…it almost seems like the league is trying to avoid trades tonight for some reason. Why not just start league activities now?

  11. I wonder which coach has the nerve to invite their players into the house & then kick them out later that day. I’d talk to the CB / SS before I’d talk to the guys on the line, just in case.

  12. It must be uncomfortable feeling when the players get to the facilities and they have to meet the people that were called “liars” “greedy””slave owners” but then again its the union mentality and they expect everything being handed to them.

  13. If the nfl gets their stay (& I hope it does) the players 7 owners better sit down & get that CBA worked out immediatly!!!!

  14. Either way, the concept of team’s drafting for each other is now in play.

    In other words, MIN drafts a RB in the 4th for WAS and Monday McNabb gets traded for that player’s rights.

    This is going to be a fun weekend!

  15. Cant they just let there be trades, it would make tonights 1st round so much more interesting. I feel as though there would be a massive uproar and it would make everyones mocks a mess.

    Hey Judge Nelson, you better keep your ruling in place, dont go messing with our heads.

  16. The Eagles are the big loser in this decision. They will be able to trade Kolb a day or two after he could bring them any value for 2011.

  17. The NFL would have been looked at in a much better light if they had released this statement a day after the Judge’s ruling. They could have still appealed but at least they wouldn’t have alienated the fans or their own players.

  18. the nfl has screwed themselves the appeals court is gonna deny the stay because it was already denied and in fact the nfl has played dumb for two days following the initial ruling they dug their own grave just play football

  19. Couldn’t the league just temporarily suspend the league year for an indefinite amount of time thereby effectively creating a mini lockout of sorts?

  20. Well if the appeal fails and the owners turtle then it’s on to the season.

    Enjoy it because when this CBA does expire and court action isn’t available to either side we are probably looking at one very long, tough negotiation and that particular season will be in doubt.

  21. That picture says it all: Jerry: ” I thought we hired you to take care of our money, Roger.”

    Roger: “I tried Jerry, I tried.” (tears)

  22. Nothing the owners are doing is making sense ritght now. You want to keep the lockout going because it will hurt the business? Not playing football will hurt your business more than anything. Your business is football. Not allowing trades and free agency makes zero sense. Who is running things down there, the government?

  23. I was really looking forward to letting the Eagles trade away their best QB. Now they will have a QB when their starting RB goes down to injury, as he always does. Or when he fakes injury after getting picked apart by the AFC East.

  24. Eagles fans need to quit whining about trading Kolb. I realize you are trying to get rid of him and strike while the iron is hot but the only reason anyone would take a chance on him is because there is no clear cut franchise QB in the draft and there about 12 teams with questions at the position.

  25. Basically, the NFL couldn’t obtain a stay from the court so it decided to impose its own stay. I hope that the players move for the owners to be held in contempt. They are in direct defiance of the court’s order to start “business as usual.”

    If the owners and Goddell really want football to start, they should do so instead of delaying in hopes of one day winning in court.

  26. Step 1: Kill all the lawyers.

    The judge says return to work, and yet the NFL attorneys who have screwed up everything so far are insisting that the league year has not begun, screwing up free agency AND trades in the draft for existing players.

    The NFL lawyers better not be paid on a merit basis. If so, they owe billions for their multiple screw ups.

  27. Relax folks. be sure that if league opens tomorrow or monday that teams who intended to trade players (KOLB ect.) can just have a team make a pick for them in secret and then make player trades (KOLB for player drafted ) either Fri or Mon

  28. Exactly how do we know this draft even matters one hill of beans? What legal right does the NFL currently have to restrict a person coming out of college from signing with whatever team they want?

    Or am I asking the question that should not be asked?

  29. Someone should really do an analysis of how many draft-day trades in the past involved veterans. My guess is, not many.

    Draft day trades, going just on my recollection, are most commonly pick-for-picks. (Sometimes, they involve an already-picked player … but usually not a veteran.)

    So, even if the NFL were to allow trades before or during the draft, I don’t think it would make much of a difference.

  30. No idea why are you Eagles fans are so mad about this. When VICK falls on his face this year, and he will, (hes old and legs can only take you so far), who is going to be your QB then?

  31. i pose the question, that since each team is its own entity, and the CBA and union no longer exist, why can’t teams (i.e. individual businesses) go about aquiring any players not currently under contract (i.e. new employees)??? free agency is in effect wide open for each team, regardless of what Goodell says…

  32. “505phillyguy says: Apr 28, 2011 1:34 PM

    Basically, the NFL couldn’t obtain a stay from the court so it decided to impose its own stay. I hope that the players move for the owners to be held in contempt. They are in direct defiance of the court’s order to start “business as usual.” ”

    Figures you’re from philly. All Nelson said was that the league had to stop locking out players. She specifically said the league did not have to enter into contracts with players. If they do not have to enter into contracts with players, they do not have to terminate/reclass contracts either which would be required for free agency. Nelson did not say they had to start the season, she did not say they had to allow trades. Also not entering into contracts would mean that the NFL did not have to enter into contracts for injury insurance for workouts.

  33. “Someone should really do an analysis of how many draft-day trades in the past involved veterans.”

    Go for it, quirtevans!

  34. kissbillsrings says:
    Apr 28, 2011 1:03 PM
    If the nfl gets their stay (& I hope it does) the players 7 owners better sit down & get that CBA worked out immediatly!!!!

    ——————————————-

    I hope they get their stay too, but working out a CBA is the last thing the owners want (at least now). They would rather force the players hands by dragging this out as long as they can. Come season time when the paychecks aren’t rolling in, that’s when the players will start banging on De’s door to get this resolved.

  35. “”All Nelson said was that the league had to stop locking out players. She specifically said the league did not have to enter into contracts with players. ”

    No, that’s not what she said. What she said was, no team has to enter into contracts. She did NOT say that the league didn’t have to enter into contracts with players, because …. THE LEAGUE DOES NOT ENTER INTO CONTRACTS WITH PLAYERS. Teams do.

    If all 32 teams collectively refuse to enter into contracts with players, that’s collusion. That’s an anti-trust violation.

    The league is playing with fire.

  36. quirtevans says:
    Apr 28, 2011 1:51 PM
    Someone should really do an analysis of how many draft-day trades in the past involved veterans. My guess is, not many.

    Draft day trades, going just on my recollection, are most commonly pick-for-picks. (Sometimes, they involve an already-picked player … but usually not a veteran.)

    So, even if the NFL were to allow trades before or during the draft, I don’t think it would make much of a difference.

    _______________________

    Go to wikipedia or something because there is mulitple draft day trades that involve players every year during every round. Most years you even have some big name players being traded as well.

  37. So if the league year hasn’t started, does this mean that players drafted this weekend will automatically accrue one year of service when the league year does begin?

  38. I’m willing to believe you … however, my recollection is that trades of veterans for draft choices usually happen pre-draft. For example, Donovan McNabb was traded April 4th, more than two weeks before the draft. The year before, Jay Cutler was traded on April 2nd. Richard Seymour was traded on September 6th for draft choices.

    So, there, I’ve done some research on recent “big name players”. If there are multiple draft day trades involving veterans, it’s your turn, do you have some examples?

  39. “So if the league year hasn’t started, does this mean that players drafted this weekend will automatically accrue one year of service when the league year does begin?”

    There are three answers to that question.

    One, years of service is a concept from the collective bargaining agreement. If there’s no CBA, years of service do not matter.

    Two, in the absence of a CBA, the owners can do whatever they like, and live with the potential anti-trust consequences.

    Three, eventually, this will all be resolved through a new collective bargaining agreement, which will no doubt specify what rights the draftees have. (And which will no doubt give them the short end of the stick.)

  40. Hello Philadelphia: You are NOT getting a number 1 for Kolb and you never were. Once other teams know you want to get rid of a guy, “No #1 for you.”

  41. In the meantime, move on until the appeals court over turns Obama-Nelson. Politics – what a way to screw up a wet dream.

  42. Some of you folks are among the dumbest people on the planet. Irredeemably stupid. However, the real evil amongst us is those who think the rest of us are dumber than you.

    Keep on shilling for billionaires! Hey, why not save yourselves some angst and send your kid’s college fund to the Koch brothers or some other billionaire who would just as soon grind your bones for fuel as give you the time of day?

  43. hatesycophants says: Apr 28, 2011 4:55 PM

    Some of you folks are among the dumbest people on the planet. Irredeemably stupid. However, the real evil amongst us is those who think the rest of us are dumber than you.

    Keep on shilling for billionaires! Hey, why not save yourselves some angst and send your kid’s college fund to the Koch brothers or some other billionaire who would just as soon grind your bones for fuel as give you the time of day?

    ___________________________________

    I agree with this and because of this I will not purchase anything from the NFL this year, not a ticket, hat, jersey, sunday ticket, nothing. I will watch what game is televised nationally and follow online. How about you hatesycophants? I assume you won’t be one of “dumbest people on the planet” and support those billionares or millionares will you?

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