Judge Susan Nelson has denied the owner's request for a stay on her decision Monday to rule in favor of the players and lift the NFL lockout. Nelson has ordered the NFL to start its league year immediately, though she did not say teams were obligated to begin signing free agents. The NFL will now look for a stay from the Court of Appeals.
This technically means the lockout will be lifted for the 2011 NFL Draft, which could potentially lead to a confusing situation with trades and player acquisitions. Teams proceeded with caution after Nelson's ruling on Monday, with many, including the Redskins, denying players access to the weight room and locker room at their facilities.
Judge Nelson wrote that the NFL "has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal, expedited or otherwise." The league tried to argue that opening up the possibility for player movement before the case has fully been decided would damage competitive balance.