NFL set to resume football operations
|04.28.11 at 2:38 pm ET|
Football has returned, at least for now. The NFL issued a memo on Thursday that said teams can open their doors to their players for voluntary workouts, meetings with coaches and the distribution of playbooks as early as Friday morning. For now, all player moves are on hold, but the league promised that it would issue detailed procedures for free agency, trades and other roster moves soon.
James Quinn, the class counsel for the players in their antitrust suit against the NFL, argued that waiting for an appeal is not grounds for keeping league operations shut down.
“Unless and until such a (stay) request is granted, however, we believe the 2011 league Year now has to begin,” Quinn said in a memo to players and agents. “The clubs must open their facilities to allow players to work out, meet with coaches and otherwise perform their jobs; and the NFL and the clubs cannot collectively continue to refuse to deal with players.”
The memo brings some clarity to an uncertain situation — despite the fact that the lockout was lifted earlier in the week, the clubs were unsure whether or not they could allow players into the facilities for workouts, as owners were in the process of appealing the decision. The league still plans to appeal the decision — the request for a temporary stay is still pending — but for now, there appears to be a sense that a return to normalcy will come sooner rather than later.
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