NFL’s next move will be to seek a stay in appeals court


With Judge Susan Nelson denying the NFL’s motion to stay the lifting of the lockout pending appeal, the NFL’s only hope of avoiding the opening of the 2011 league year resides in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit.

On Tuesday, lawyer David Boies told PFT Live that the league would promptly seek a stay from the 8th Circuit.  “If she denies the stay, we’ve already told the 8th Circuit that we will be having papers presented to that court,” Boies said.

The next question becomes whether the NFL will continue to maintain the status quo pending the 8th Circuit’s ruling.  The fact that the draft will happen tomorrow forces the NFL to choice to open for business — or to risk being in contempt of Judge Nelson’s order.

52 responses to “NFL’s next move will be to seek a stay in appeals court

  1. Things are going so badly for the league you have to wonder if teams are going to be reluctant to trade into future drafts.

  2. It was quite obvious Judge Nelson was not going to stay a decision in which she filed an 89 page decision on the matter. And it is obvious the 8th CA is the next move for the NFL. This is where the Houdini acts will happen. The NFL will not start business during the draft; plain and simple.

    What is interesting is how the NFLPA* (I love the asterisk PFT) will continue ot move forward without a CBA. The NFLPA* says the NFL is in violation of anti-rust laws, but agrees with the draft process, so the NFL PA* will no longer be able to re-certify and represent the players if the draft is in place in future years, because that would be an anti-trust violation absent a CBA. If there is no union to represen the players, then that is REALLY giving all the power back to the owners which is exactl what the NFLPA* says it does not want for its “players”. Hmmm…

    So which is it NFLPA*? You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

  3. This isn’t surprising. The league knew that the activist judge would rule in the favor of the players.

  4. If the stay is denied by the s court, the league should promulgate their own set of rules immediately and start the season. If the nonexistent union opposes them and the playas refuse to play, the league could certainly legitimately claim irreperable harm due to the loss of basically all revenues, through the breach of contracts by the currently signed laborers.

    I’ve been a lifelong NFL fan, but the game is now even more broken than the NHL and MLB. Good work DeOuchbag Smith!

  5. Roger Goodell is a freaking moron. It’s like they were totally off guard on the possibility of this happen.
    Hey owners, cut your losses, give up. You appeal this, and you are only guaranteeing your worst fear.

    Then fire the moron.

  6. You frequently read the word “risk” on this board, usually in the context of “…the owners take all the risk…” What risk? The NFL has a monopoly on employing the highest calibre professional football player AND staging competitive games featuring these players on Sunday afternoons in the fall. I think the judge is telling these big, bad “Masters of the Universe” that if they want to be owners, they need to come up with a solution that everyone can live with, without wasting any more of the court’s (read, the taxpayers) time. That might actually entail some real “risk”.

  7. It is worth a shot, but if the 8th circuit refuses to stay the judges order against the lockout, the owners need to bite the bullet and open for business without any player employment rules.

    Let’s see how no rules works for the players. While I think that having no player employment rules will really hurt most players, it may not. If no rules does hurt, then maybe the players will finally begin to negotiate in good faith.

  8. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says:Apr 27, 2011 10:58 AM
    I hope—and expect—that Judge Nelson denies the league’s petition for a stay on her order. I hope—and expect—that the NFL will then petition and secure a stay from the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.
    If the players want a “no-rules” NFL, the perhaps the owners should give them what they want. It will become a public relations nightmare for the players, and basically destroy the game of American football

    And now the matter is properly before the 8th Circuit. If the owners do not prevail before the appellate court, then the league will have no choice but to minimize its antitrust liability across the board. I predict that NFL fans, including those who have been advocating here on behalf of the players, will not like the end result. The only silver lining I can see to this labor cloud is that the New England Patriots, by virtue of their large market presence and high valuation, stand to make out better than most teams in this potentially new world of football.

  9. The draft will take place as planned and I would not expect any trades involving players. Ideally speaking the 8th Circuit will hear the appeal next week so it’s in the best interest of the league to maintain status quo until hearing of the appeal.

    Maybe at time the playing field can be leveled and both parties can seriously mediate / negotiate / collectively bargain a new CBA.

  10. The NFL will not be granted a stay by the circuit court…. (unless the assigned jurist works for Trump)

  11. I have two questions 1) if the league holds out for the 8th circuit court and are found in contempt who out of the league will be fined or locked up – all 32 owners? 2) How come no one will answer the question of who will the league bargin a deal with if their is no union – all 1900 players? help Please!

  12. …or maybe just cut all of the current players, and start over with a new set of rules beginning with the current draft class. Since there’s no union, I don’t suppose the current laborers could claim retaliation due their unorganized labor activities.

  13. chapnastier says: Let’s hope the appeal moves quickly. The players will destroy the NFL as we know it.

    Did the players change the rules? Of course not, the owners did. The owners locked out the players, not the other way around….

    The courts are backing up the idea that the owners have been in the wrong for a long time.

  14. Damn the owners are getting routed. This is actually embarrassing.

    And if they think just because the 8th circuit is generally more conservative then I must point out the 9-0 Supreme court drumming they took in the American Needle vs. NFL case. A Supreme Court that’s seen as conservative as any in the past couldn’t even muster one conservative vote for the NFL?

    And this was when the NFL had a CBA with the Union.

  15. Mark my post right here, the owners have a nuclear option card they are going to play if they lose the appeal.

    Not sure what, maybe cancelling the season, maybe dissolving the league and reforming it, I don’t know. But the owners will call the players bluff with the this bogus decertification and “leverage only” legal manuevirs.

    Mark it April 27 7:31 pacific by Smacklayer.

  16. LOL, at this point, the NFL is like a crackhead who has exhausted all other avenues and is trying to smoke stuff they find on the floor.

  17. Dear NFL: how many more times do you want to get beat down in the court system before you quit living in the delisonal world that everything has to be done in terms that favor you

  18. After that I guess we hit “The People’s Court”?


    “…will destroy the NFL as we know it” is the equivalent of “Death Panels”. Meaningless and baseless fear-mongering.

    Make an argument, please. State your case. Back it up with facts.

    In short, do what the NFL lawyers have consistently failed to do for over a month. And they get paid way more than you to do precisely that.

    IT. IS. OVER.

  19. Don’t despair. This is a “learning opportunity” for those who have believed in the “myth” of objectivity in the justice system. Any trial lawyer will tell you judges have value systems, biases and political preferences. BIAS EXISTS in the judge population. It was expected that an Obama appointed judge in a DEEP BLUE state would favor Unions over rich, old white men regardless of the merit of their arguments.

    Remember, there are DEEP BLUE and there are DEEP RED states with politicized judges. Objectivity is a myth!

    Let’s see what happens when the 8th Circuit Court in a DEEP RED state views the Obamamama’s opinion. Remember, there is always the Supreme Court and Congress to get involved.

  20. I have no legal expertise but if there is an antitrust judgement against the NFL doesn’t all the money go to the 10 named plaintiffs (Brady et al) and the lawyers? After all there is no union.

    Which means the other 1,500 or so NFL players will see reduced salaries and benefits (“free market” system with no minimum spending requirements) while Brady, Manning, Brees, etc. each walk off with a few hundred million dollars extra.

    Maybe there is justice after all.

  21. Technically, the draft will be an anti-trust violation, any rules imposed by the NFL that the teams adhere to are anti-trust violations. If the NFL keeps it up, the players will end up owning all the teams.

  22. It really is a shame that activist judges are allowed lifetime appointments. Laws in our nation were to be created by the legislative branch that is accountable to the voters. Creating law through legal precident short circuits the ability of citizens to regulate their laws and leaders.

    The curent pro-labor rulings are anti-democratic and perpetuates the current NFL labor model that financially holds up the fans.

  23. Let’s guess which team chapnastier works for…or maybe it’s the league office who is paying him to post their propganda on the web.

  24. The NFL was well aware that the Stay by the Lady Judge would be denied and they filed it as part of a process.

    They were always aware that it would be the Appeals Court that would have to be the one to Stay the Ruling. Next up the Appeals Court Stays the Ringer Courts Ruling and we go a couple months until the Appeals Court handles the case as the players sit Home.

    As for the NFL, Doors are open while Stay is being sought. But not even a Court can force owners to go shopping if they decide not to, love it.

  25. Move on and expand the draft to 15 to 20 rounds and rebuild each team with new players. The former players don’t exist anymore. All of their contracts are null and void thanks to Ms. Obama-Nelson.

  26. goodell is doing what, the people who EVERYBODIES salary,they tell him to do.

    its up to the owners to players why they are the owners.
    and to me the first step in that is cancelling the 11 season citing safety concerns.
    then turn around and make the players sign a waiver saying they play at their own risk.
    then set a cap so low that teams cannot field legitmate teams.

  27. N F L will soon stand for; (Not For Long) (Knucklehead F-n Losers) and my favorite (Nescient Fimicoluos Libidinest’s)

  28. txchief, chapnastier, etc:

    All of you anti-player folks are hilarious. You all know perfectly well that the NFLPA* decertified for the same reason that the owners locked the players out: for leverage in negotiations. What is it that you people want? For the players to accept whatever terms the owners give them? And why is it that you want this? Because you are upset that the players are making more money than you are? Excuse me, but do you have the same attitude for fields other than professional athletics? Are you for limiting the salaries of, certain talk radio hosts, for instance?

  29. txchief:

    Now you are calling Richards an activist judge. Do you even know what the law is? No, all you know is that you are pro-owner, and you want a ruling that favors the owners. Here are the facts: the owners cannot lock out the players unless there is a union. The players know this. The owners know this. The lawyers know this. The owners knew that they were going to lose, and they know that they are going to lose the appeal also. Why else do you think that the owners INSIST on still referring to the NFLPA as a union? BECAUSE THEY KNOW THAT IF THE DECERTIFCATION IS ACCEPTED AS VALID, THEY HAVE NO CASE. Did you know this before you trashed Richards and her ruling?


    It would have been an ACTIVIST decision for her to side with the owners, because she would have either ILLEGALLY A) ruled that it is OK to lock out a non-unionized workforce or B) CLEARLY overstepped her bounds by declaring the decertifcation to be invalid. Regarding B) despite your OBVIOUSLY wanting her to take the presumption that the decertification was a fraud, Jones is the JUDICIAL branch. The decision on the decertification is made by the NLRB, the EXECUTIVE branch. Ever hear of SEPARATION OF POWERS? Mandated by THE CONSTITUTION?

    Also, even if the owners prevail with the NLRB (which is likely but not guaranteed) and/or with the appeal (which is unlikely but not guaranteed), big deal. The players can just wait the 6 months and decertify again on September 11th. At that point, the owners won’t have a leg to stand on when the players sue to have the lockout lifted because their only basis – challenging the legitimacy of the decertification – will no longer exist. They can – and will – play the game of appealing and delaying, but ultimately they will lose. That is why their main strategy is PR to win over the fans, and to wait the players out, and HOPE that if they win the CBA battle with the players, having a CBA will eliminate the ability of the anti-trust lawsuits to proceed.

    Again, that is a HOPE. It is BY NO MEANS GUARANTEED. That’s why the owners need to arrive at an agreement with the players that is good enough to get Brady, Manning and company to pull their anti-trust lawsuit.

  30. freddyfelder says:
    Apr 27, 2011 10:19 PM
    Bring in any player who wanna cross the fence.. rookies who wanna sign, and scabs and let’s play ball!
    What the hell are you talking about? There is no fence to cross. You must be Rip Van Winkle and just got up from 1987 when the NFL players were on strike. The year is 2011 and NFL owners have LOCKED OUT all players, including rookies.

  31. atlantabirds says:


    Buh-bye NFL as you know it…….

    As it STILL stands…….until the individuals* negotiate a new CBA (which favors the owners), YOU just won an NFL with no RFA’s, UFA’s, draft, etc.

    Congrats d1psh1t!!

  32. The NFL as it existed as recently as a year ago was one of the last refuges of the regular guy/gal. To watch the players and their union take a sledgehammer to it is heart-rending.

    If only we could live in a world without lawyers and judges.

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