The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the NFL’s request for an expedited hearing of its appeal of an injunction last month that temporarily lifted the lockout. The hearing will begin June 3 in St. Louis.
The league and its players were still awaiting word from the appeals court about the NFL’s request for a stay of the injunction which would last until the appeal is decided. If the stay is granted, the league would likely remain shuttered until the judges rule on the appeal.
However, if the stay is lifted, the NFL league year would likely begin within a matter of days, and the free agency signing period and trading window would open. Off-season conditioning programs would also begin for all teams.
The NFL has argued to the appeals court that the stay should remain in place until the appeal is decided, because a favorable outcome of the appeal would allow the league to resume its lockout. The league has indicated concerns that allowing free agency and trades, only to face a potential confusing situation where new work rules might result from future court rulings.