Judge Susan Nelson's decision to lift the NFL lockoutmeans we could have a unique situation on our hands when it comes to the 2011 NFL Draft. Prior to the ruling, the league was prepared to go through with the event, but not allow players under contract to be traded. Now, there's a possibility that changes.
It all depends on when the owners receive a stay of Judge Nelson's ruling. The owners have requested this in order to allow them to appeal to the 8th circuit. A stay keeps the lockout temporarily in place, and it would mean there would be no change to the proceedings. The owners are expected to receive that stay in the coming days.
But when will they receive it? What if they do not receive it? If so, that opens up an interesting small window where trades and free-agent signings may be allowed, one that could extend through the 2011 NFL Draft. It's not clear whether the league would set new rules to prevent this loophole, but as of now, it looks like the league would just fall back to 2010 rules while not officially having a new CBA. That could create a strange situation this weekend, as Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar writes:
Depending on whether the stay is granted pending appeal, we could have quite the little Wild-West situation going on in the days leading up to the draft. It's possible that teams could rush to sign and trade free agents, and it's also possible that the owners could refuse to sign or trade anyone, which would probably lend credence to the collusion case that the NFLPA already has going.
Maybe this means some of those Redskins you want gone will actually be gone this weekend. Who knows. The whole situation is incredibly unique, and nobody really has any idea how it will play out.