US District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson has sided with the players in the Brady v. NFL case and granted the preliminary injunction lifting the lockout.
The ruling is 10113634171.pdf.
Nelson did not rule on a stay — or a delay on its implementation — until an appeal could be heard.
The NFL is certain ask for one from Nelson and, if it’s denied, to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.
UPDATE: Here is the league’s comment:
“We will promptly seek a stay from Judge Nelson pending an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes. We are confident that the Eighth Circuit will agree. But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal. “
This is a major — if not unexpected — victory for the players.
If the NFL can’t get a stay of the ruling, it will have to reopen its doors and allow free agency to begin until the appeal is ruled on.
This does not mean that the NFL will all of a sudden start free agency. The NFL would have to set rules and then could set a date for free agency to begin.
Of course, the players could file for injunctions against both of those moves.
In other words, there’s at least a little ways to go yet.