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NFL Lockout Ruling: Will Owners Use Their Leverage?

The NFL lockout ruling from the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is in and it favors the league as the courts ruled that the lockout is legal and can remain in place. This doesn't change a whole lot at the moment because since March 11 we've been operating as if the lockout is in place (with the exception of a brief few days in April when the lockout was lifted).

But it does give the owners some leverage now that they know they can keep the lockout in place for the time being. And of course the owners biggest leverage is enforcing the lockout until the players miss paychecks and crumble. The two sides are in negotiations this week so the obvious question is how the league will use its leverage.

Peter King of SI.com tweets that he doesn't expect NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to hold this ruling over the players' heads.

I don't think Goodell will allow owners to step on players' throats w/8th Circ ruling. He has to know how dangerous that'd be.

Indeed, it would be dangerous -- and potentially costly. The owners can keep the lockout in place and gain some leverage but they would also be losing significant preseason money -- reportedly to the tune of about $200 million per week the lockout is in place during the preseason.

Albert Breer of NFL Network is one of those who thinks this ruling could actually help in coming to an agreement.

After running this 8th Circuit ruling by a few people ... I think it might actually ramp up urgency to do a deal now.

Let's hope so.