It is now official. The almost four-month long NFL lockout has been declared legal by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, overturning Judge Nelson's ruling that the league could not lock out the players. The ruling was a 2-1 vote, with Judge Kermit Bye again dissenting.
For those who believe that this will delay labor negotiations currently taking place between the owners and players, it may be a little misguided. At this point, it is not the potential ruling that was hanging over the heads of those involved. Potentially, the owners could use this as more leverage against the players, but now it is the potential loss of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that would be the result of lost preseason games that is the motivating factor for both sides.
As it was said in court hearings that the ruling would not be good for either side, they court ruled that the league could not lock out rookies or free agents. They did not state whether or not signings could begin, but that will go to Judge Nelson for a hearing, in which case will likely mean that player signings can begin.
Hopefully by the time that hearing happens there is a true CBA because opening up signings without guidelines would cause a lot of confusion. Also, they would be signing players to then immediately lock out.
Again, negotiations should still happen and it would be the responsible to solve the labor issues on their own without the mess a partial lockout would bring.