Will 8th US Circuit Court Decision Hold Up NFL Labor Negotiations?


The 8th US Circuit Court ruled that the NFL Lockout is legal.  It shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given that they basically put the brakes on  Judge Susan Nelson’s life of the lockout back in April.  The timing for this stinks.  As both sides have been making progress in their negotiations toward reaching a settlement and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the court’s ruling is likely to impede progress.  At the very least, both sides need to break away from the negotiating table to review the 30+ page decision.  For all of you legal eagles out there, here’s a snippet from the decision:

"“Whatever the effects of the union’s disclaimer on the League’s immunity from antitrust liability, the labor dispute did not suddenly disappear just because the Players elected to pursue the dispute through antitrust litigation rather than collective bargaining,” the decision stated."

On the surface, the ruling would seem to give NFL owners some added leverage, but not all is as it seems.   The players – and particularly free agents and drafted – can still go back to challenge the ruling about whether the lockout applies to players not under contract.

The biggest factor that’s in our favor as fans in the looming unofficial July 15th deadline to get a deal done so camps can open on time and no games are missed.  Recent reports indicated that owners could lose about $60 million per week.  That should be incentive enough to get a deal done within the next week.