How Judge Nelson May Rule Regarding the NFL Lockout

U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson told both the National Football League and the players after their five hour hearing yesterday that it could take “a couple of weeks” for her to rule on the players’ request to lift the lockout imposed by owners.  She urged both sides to get back to the bargaining table and hammer out a deal before she makes the first of what could be many legal decisions.

Scenarios of how Judge Nelson may rule:

  • Find that the players are not being ‘irreparably harmed’ by the lockout and therefore deny the players’ injunction request.  The owners would still have a rookie draft at the end of April but there will be no trades, no free agency signings, no OTCs or other off-season workouts.
  • Grant the player’s injunction lifting the lockout and therefore allowing the players back to work.  The rookie draft, would happen, the team facilities will be open, off-season workouts would start and teams could sign free agents.
  • Decide that all administrative remedies have not been exhausted and that the NFL’s complaint before the National Labor Relations Board needs to be decided first before the court intervenes.
  • Delay ruling until the beginning of training camp, finding that the players could not suffer irreparable damages until such time.


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