Around the NFL
Cooler heads don't prevail
Posted Mar. 11 at 08:58 PM
The player's union has decertified and a group of players has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the NFL. It will probably be at least a month before the league season gets underway, and even that seems optimistic; it could be much longer. Good morning!
Plenty of articles about what's going on and what's likely to come next at NFL.com; this Q&A seems pretty informative. It points out that things could still get resolved fairly quickly -- if, say, the owners backed down and decided the legal battles will be potentially far more costly than caving now -- but also notes that it's more likely both sides will dig in and wait for the initial ruling, which could be a month away. And then there'd likely be appeals and other litigation.
This article points out that a ruling for the players could result in the start of the league year, including trades, free agency, and other transactions. That would force the owners to create new rules to operate the league, and potentially games could be played even as litigation moves forward. A season played under such a cloud, however, would be particularly worrying, given that a further ruling for the owners could result in a lockout.
One of the more worrisome elements is that it's long been assumed there will be an April draft regardless. That, however, was in the event of a lockout. With the annual draft one of the things players are citing in their lawsuit against the league -- one of the plaintiffs is projected top-5 pick Von Miller -- even that is no longer certain.
Bottom line, there's no reason at this point to expect any kind of transactions involving NFL teams and players any time soon. It's a lot more likely that those of us who love the league are going to be left hanging, hoping that it doesn't take too long for cooler heads to prevail, but preparing to be disappointed.
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