It's time for another lockout update, and we're going to be honest: it's not good. Instead of starting voluntary workouts at Halas Hall, our Bears are working out on their own while their fellow players file lawsuits. Lots and lots of lawsuits. Ready for the rundown?
- Led by former Chief Priest Holmes and former Viking Carl Eiler, retired players filed a suit against the league on behalf of them and draft-eligible players, calling the lockout illegal. Though it raises many of the same issues as the Tom Brady suit, the retired players raise an interesting idea that may end up pushing the owners to bow to players' demands. Draftable players have never been represented by the players union, but they are still being harmed by the lockout, and once drafted, will be unable to work because of it. According to the lawsuit, that is a violation of anti-trust rules. Read more about the lawsuit and how it can be a bombsell here.
- In another lawsuit in another courtroom, the league was ordered by a federal court to pay workers' compensation claims for former players who were injured playing football.
- Will this lockout turn out like the NHL one that canceled a season? Grizzly Detail's own Hunter Hillenmeyer takes a look at how they are very different, particularly in the financial arena. Mainly, the NHL was broke at the time of their lockout, and ended up saving money by avoiding a season. The NFL is making money hand-over-fist.
- If the owners do have to turn over their financial records to the players, the Bears president Ted Phillips says that he would have no problem opening up the team's books. He is also optimistic that the 2011 season will be played as scheduled.
- Finally, briefs were field in the Brady et al. vs. NFL case in anticipation of next week's rulings. The players are seeking an injunction against the league's lockout, and argues that the owners broke negotiation rules that were put in place in 1993, the last time the players sued the league.
If you're tired of the legalese and lawsuits, remember that a big day in this whole mess is rapidly approaching: April 6. That's when the federal court in Minnesota will rule on the Brady case. If the injunction is awarded to the players, the lockout will be over. It doesn't mean that all the legal and labor troubles will be over, but it will allow football to return to some degree of normalcy.