The NFL lockout has been lifted by Judge Susan Nelson but the league has appealed to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to keep the lockout in place. We're not sure what they'll rule but, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, agents and GMs around the league are bracing for the league year to start as soon as Monday.
That means the NFL would be completely open. Free agency could start on Monday. Draft picks could negotiate with their teams. Undrafted free agents would be eligible to sign with teams.
This would be a fairly incredible turn of events. I think many of us were bracing for the lockout -- and free agency -- to be delayed into August or September. Free agency has never come after the draft so it's unclear what kind of impact that would have on this weekend's 2011 NFL draft.
Nothing is official at this point but most expect the NFL, if they were put into this situation, to implement the 2010 set of rules. That would mean no salary cap (or floor) and the threshold for free agency would be six years.
This is a bizarre -- but also exciting -- time in the NFL right now. It's hard to imagine free agency starting in just a few days.