Bumped. Was tied up writing elsewhere, so many thanks to PhantaSkippy for this update about the expected but nevertheless discouraging news on the NFL Lockout front. More soon. - Michael B. -
NFL owners have been granted a stay on the injunction that would have ended the lockout that's shut down the NFL for the past two months. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling is a big momentum swing in the owners' favor, as the league remains closed for business while their full appeal is heard in early June. With the lockout in place, the players won't get paid or be able to have interaction with their teams and rookies will not get anything at all.
That last bit is big. A bunch of new union members get squat, normally they'd be getting money during camp and their contract bonus.
We always think of the big picks, and the big contract players, but the low guys on the pole outnumber the top dogs by a large margin, even in the draft. Lower picks get a little bit of a signing bonus, but that is usually spent just getting into their new city and setting up their new life. The Union faces a bad situation where they could start to lose support of younger and lower paid veterans. While the owners have the ball in their court and can better dictate terms, they also carry the burden of getting the deal done. If they drag this situation out and crush the union, or even sign a heavily owner favoring agreement we will get to see this mess again with players striking for a fair share of profits when all the new TV deals come in.
I still can't help feeling this labor issue is just a forerunner of a big mess that new TV contracts and a huge increase in revenue that is expected with those contracts makes the pile of money huge and both sides more certain they deserve a bigger slice. I really hope there is an agreement coming soon, and that it will afford us more than just "peace in our time," that it will create a balance fair enough that neither side will risk upsetting the balance to try to get a bigger cut.
As for the actual legal decision, the court decided that it is likely that the NFL will win its argument that the district court did not have the jurisdiction to enjoin the lockout, and since lifting the lockout in that climate would cause great harm to the league's business rights the stay was granted. June 3 is the actual hearing on whether the lockout is legal, and while there are negotiations going on, our own Art Rooney II stated that progress will be difficult until the June 3rd hearing is over.