On Friday morning, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals finally made its ruling on the owners appeal of Judge Susan Nelson's original ruling, in which the lockout was lifted.... for a whole day.
The new ruling, of course, is that the NFL Lockout is legal and it won't be lifted by the government. So basically, until the owners and players come to an agreement, the lockout will stay in place. Even though this is obviously bad news for football fans, it isn't a total victory for the owners.
While it appears to be a big win for the NFL, it wasn't unexpected. And it's far from the complete win the NFL wanted at this stage. As to the critically important question of whether the nonstatutory labor exemption survives the decertification of the NFLPA, the Eighth Circuit made no ruling -- which means that even though the lockout can continue, a chance remains that the lockout later will be found to be illegal, exposing the NFL to a potential verdicts of $12 billion or more if the 2011 season is lost.
To further explain the point that this isn't that big of a deal, here are some Tweets from guys who know more about this than you and me.
8th Circuit timing a surprise but actual ruling was expected. That was clear to players/owners when overruled Judge Nelson on lockout
So, very doubtful this ruling impacts current negotiations; also, players anti-trust suit still lingers, especially in September.
In other words, both sides should remain focused on a deal with urgency. If not done by next week, then it's a problem.
Again, 8th Cicruit ruling not a total victory for owners. The antitrust case/damages lingers in this ruling, so leaves motive for settlement
I don't think Goodell will allow owners to step on players' throats w/8th Circ ruling. He has to know how dangerous that'd be.
Even though the latest court ruling has allowed the NFL lockout to stay in place, both sides know that they're getting to the point where a lot of money could be lost if the two sides don't come to an agreement soon. I expect that, regardless of this news, that the lockout comes to an end within the next two weeks.