The NFL filed its response to the players' request to immediately lift the lockout, allowing the offseason to begin immediately. On Monday, Nelson lifted the lockout by granting an immediate injunction, though both sides remain in limbo as they wait for a clear interpretation. In a four-page letter, lawyers for the NFL asserted creating rules for the offseason without a valid collective bargaining in place would violate antitrust laws. Lawyers for the NFL claimed the players were improperly trying to get Judge Susan Nelson to rule on antitrust matters, which are part of a separate, pending lawsuit.
Tom Brady and his fellow plaintiffs responded by withdrawing their motion to clarify because, they say, the NFL's letter made it clear it understands Judge Nelson's ruling and the league should start right away. You can excerpts from the filings, and interpretations from those who know the lay of the land and antitrust laws, here.
In doing so, the players "anticipate that the NFL Defendants will comply" with the order "at once." Their point: The league year should have started the second Nelson issued her injunction.
As a safeguard, the players have asked for $1 billion bond if Nelson grants a stay and allows the lockout to continue, at least temporarily. Nelson is expected make her ruling at some point in the next day, perhaps less. Until then, both sides are in a holding pattern with the 2011 NFL Draft looming.
For the latest on the legal wrangling, stay with our NFL lockout StoryStream.