No Players Come To Ravens Facility

The players and league await another ruling, which could begin the 2011 season.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink

A day after the lockout was lifted by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson, not much changed at the Ravens’ facility in Owings Mills, Md.

Coaches and scouts met for final pre-draft meetings, but no players reported to the building.

Without the lockout, players are permitted to return to team facilities. There have been reports around the NFL of other players showing up, including in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Washington and more.

“If you don’t have a workout bonus, it’s pretty pointless to show up,” cornerback Fabian Washington told the National Football Post. “Very few of our guys are even in town. Guys are getting it in wherever they are. Nobody is taking it lightly.”

Most players who did report to other teams’ facilities said they were allowed in but not permitted to work out. With appeals pending, the league issued a statement to try to clarify confusion.

“We are going to proceed in an orderly way that is fair to the teams and players and complies with court orders,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello. “Players are being treated with courtesy and respect at club facilities.

“We do not believe it is appropriate for football activities to take place until there are further rulings from the court. Under the last set of proposals made to the NFLPA, teams wouldn’t even be into offseason programs yet. We need a few days to sort this out, as NFLPA attorney Jim Quinn indicated last night.”

There was no specific language in Nelson’s ruling about a “stay,” which the league has requested. A stay would continue the lockout until the league’s case in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is complete.

An attorney for the players wrote Nelson a letter asking for clarification. The judge then told the NFL that it has until 6 p.m. ET on Wednesday to respond to the possibility of the league year immediately beginning.

If Nelson does not enact a stay, the NFL will ask for it from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora believes could be more favorable towards owners than Nelson.

“If you talk to legal experts, they feel like generally that particular court takes a more conservative view,” La Canfora said in an interview with BaltimoreRavens.com. “League legal experts have kind of felt all along their best playing field for victory could possibly be the Eighth Circuit Court but you just don’t know.”

In the event that there is no stay granted in either court and the lockout ends, the league would have to determine what rules it would operate under for the 2011 season. Players attorney Jim Quinn said in an interview today that he expects free agency to open within 24 hours.

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