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NFL Lockout: Judges 'Won't Be Hurt' If Settlement Comes Before Ruling

You probably saw the rundown of the court hearing dealing with the legality of the NFL lockout, once again thanks to the tweeting of Albert Breer. If you had to speculate how the ruling will go "in due course" based on questioning, Judges Colloton and Benton seemed sympathetic towards the owners, which would seem to indicate that the lockout will be ruled as legal. 

However, as it was stated, there were two things stated to encourage the two parties to settle out of court.

The first was the statement that the decision that will come "in due course" will be one "that neither side will like." The other was when Judge Bye, who oversaw the hearing, that they "won't be hurt" if the owners and players settle out of court.

The confidential settlement sessions that went on in Chicago this week are encouraging. The fact that there were no lawyers was great.

Now, what would be a decision that both sides would not like? There are few possibilities. For one, they could rule that the lockout is legal but that the players could file antitrust suits (and get triple damages). Another possibility is to limit the length of the lockout, but rule it is legal. 

Since the ruling is not expected for anywhere between two and six weeks, hopefully both sides are now serious about getting a deal done.