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Breaking News: Judge Lifts the NFL Lockout

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KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 04:  A general view of Arrowhead Stadium as the NFL lockout looms while negotiations are extended on March 4, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - MARCH 04: A general view of Arrowhead Stadium as the NFL lockout looms while negotiations are extended on March 4, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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According to NFL Network reporter Albert Breer, Judge Susan Nelson has sided with the players, granting their request for an injunction, lifting the NFL lockout. However, Judge Nelson has also decided not to stay the decision.

But perhaps the biggest development is that Nelson has decided not to stay the decision, which could force the league to open for business immediately. The NFL now must seek a stay with the Eighth Circuit, where the appeal would be heard, in order to prevent a potentially chaotic beginning to the 2011 league year.

Judge Nelson ordered the two sides to go back to the mediation table, where they worked with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, but Judge Boylan made the decision to cease negotiations until May 16.

The NFL owners are expected to appeal Judge Nelson's decision soon because they want to avoid opening free agency or allowing offseason workout programs to begin. According to Breer, pending the appeal, the lockout could be reinstituted in the coming weeks or months.

Now that the lockout has been lifted, albeit temporarily, teams can contact their players and make trades again. If the lockout is still lifted after the draft, coaches will be able to give their new draft picks playbooks so they're more prepared for the upcoming season.

Also, if Bengals owner Mike Brown suddenly sees the light and realized that trading disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer is the best move for his team, he is now free to do so. Don't hold your breath, though.