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Lockoutapalooza: Lawsuits Fly



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    MIAMI - FEBRUARY 02: A judges gavel rests on top of a desk in the courtroom of the newly opened Black Police Precinct and Courthouse Museum February 3, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The museum is located in the only known structure in the nation that was designed, devoted to and operated as a separate station house and municipal court for African-Americans. In September 1944, the first black patrolmen were sworn in as emergency policemen to enforce the law in what was then called the "Central Negro District." The precinct building opened in May 1950 to provide a station house for the black policemen and a courtroom for black judges in which to adjudicate black defendants. The building operated from 1950 until its closing in 1963. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    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.

    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.