Last week it seemed as if football was going to resume. It was a joyous time for players and fans alike. But merely a few hours after the lockout had been lifted by Judge Susan Nelson, it was back on immediately after an appeal's court ruled in the league's favor, granting a stay and putting the lockout back in place.
Now the league has yet another request. This time the league has sent out a request for an expedited hearing that has been granted by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. The hearing will take place June 3rd in St. Louis. During the hearing both parties will have 30 minutes to present their case.
One significant element of the hearing is that the same three judges, Judge Duane Benton, Judge Steven M. Colloton, and Judge Kermit Bye, who handled the league's motion for a temporary stay and are currently handling the motion for a stay that depends on the resolution of the appeal are going to be reviewing the ruling set down by Judge Nelson.
Is there an end in sight? Are the players and owners going to resolve their issues anytime soon? Who knows.
If the league's request for a stay is granted then there is going to be a month to kill for teams as well as how long it takes for the courts to make a ruling on the appeal. However, if the court doesn't grant the stay the player movement and NFL business activity will resume.
One thing that would be nice to know, is if teams are allowed to make trades and free agent signings during this time period. If not then the Bengals are going to be caught between a rock and a hard place. The Carson Palmer debacle will drag on, if not end with Palmer hanging up his cleats, and the Bengals won't be able to make decisions regarding some of their own players such as: Chad Ochocinco, Johnathan Joseph, Cedric Benson, Dhani Jones, and Brandon Johnson, just to name a few.
It is absolutely vital for the Bengals that the court does not grant the league's request for a stay on the lockout. Otherwise the Bengals will begin their season with inexperienced players at numerous positions including: quarterback, running back, safety, cornerback, and even to a certain extent wide receiver. Players like Jerome Simpson, Andy Dalton, Bernard Scott, and Adam Jones might not be prepared to step up into larger roles, just yet, but only time will tell what happens.
With the lockout in affect though, teams cannot begin to think about making any roster changes or anything of that nature. But once the lockout ends it will be interesting to see what movements the Bengals make. Hopefully for the Bengals sake the lockout will end and they can acquire some new players.