Will judge’s decision impact ’11 draft?

Posted by hobsonschoice1 on April 26, 2011 – 10:43 am

A few warmup tosses to start the Tuesday before the draft, 48 hours from Carolina taking Auburn quarterback Cam Newton No. 1, so everybody says.

» The league is still in limbo the day after federal court judge Susan Nelson lifted the lockout and national reports have suggested the NFL won’t lift its lockout rules until either Nelson or the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals rules on a stay of the lockout. Reports say the players have until 9 a.m. Wednesday to respond to appeal, so it won’t be Tuesday.

If Nelson doesn’t grant a stay, the league figures to ask the Eighth Circuit for a stay. If a stay is granted the lockout could continue for a couple of months until the Appeals court rules on the case. If there isn’t a stay granted, then the NFL would be open for business but no doubt it would take time to figure out which rules to use.

» With the situation still up in the air, there were no signs of Bengals players at Paul Brown Stadium Tuesday morning. According to, Washington’s Lorenzo Alexander showed up but he was told he couldn’t work out and left. According to Rich Cimini of ESPN New York, Jets wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery checked in but left when he was told he couldn’t use the hot tub for his surgically-repaired back.

NFL PR chief Greg Aiello sent out a statement Tuesday morning saying teams are going to observe the lockout rules until the courts make a decision.

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

» The only way the labor situation impacts this draft is the belief that it could affect teams trading down and trading for 2012 draft picks. With Nelson’s ruling, the potential of implementing the 2010 rules looms larger and that means the same rookie pool system.

That’s the same system that has chilled trades into the top 10 because of the monstrous bonuses. Plus, the ruling raises the specter of the NFL getting hammered on antitrust violations because of the draft. So will there be a draft next year? And if there is, how long will it be are questions, you would think, teams have to ask before making a deal with ’12 draft picks.

» ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay tweeted Monday night Bengals defensive line coach Jay Hayes was seen at the airport in Mobile, Ala., home of Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley. Makes sense. Head coach Marvin Lewis indicated Monday the Bengals are looking at all the top five players beyond Newton and Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert. Their list is probably pretty close to media reports: Fairley, Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green, LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson, and Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus.

Hayes also chatted last weekend with Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt. Hayes’ son Jesse is playing for the Badgers next season and he saw him at an event in Madison.

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