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With NFL Lockout Over, What Is Next?

With the ruling issued by Judge Nelson effectively ending the NFL lockout and the refusal to stay the injunction, we are all left now to wonder what exactly is going to happen. The NFL Draft is this week. Will teams be able to trade players and picks? Will there be free agency? All of this is still in doubt.

Obviously, the judge's ruling means that there will be football in the fall. But does it really mean that?

It depends.

The NFL still is seeking a stay of the injunction while the present their appeal to the 8th Circuit Court. If granted a stay, the lockout goes back to being on. Of course, if the stay is granted, then that puts things for the season more in questions, as the appeals process will likely take a while.

If the stay is not granted, technically trades could be made and contracts could be signed immediately. Chaos could ensue.

The interesting thing it that if there is no more lockout, then the league must set up rules of operation. The players would no longer have union protection, but the league would have to be careful to set up rules that are too restrictive or risk losing the actual antitrust case. 

As for player movement, it seems unlikely anything will be resolved today unless the request for a stay is issued immediately. 

There are a couple of things that can happen. Players can show up to team facilities, but because of liability issues they will not be permitted to use the weight room. The league has also ordered the silence between players and coaches must continue. 

Basically, there is a lot of potential for things to happen, but don't sweat it. Since all of this is in the court system, we should know that these things do not go quickly.