UPDATED 8:32PM ET - This is really big news, but it's definitely no surprise, which you know if you've been rolling with us. All along, it's been pretty clear that the law was on the players' side. A union can decertify if it wants to, and you can't lock out a non-organized labor force. Individuals are free to file suit, where a union can't, and that's the vehicle through which a new CBA is going to be eventually reached.
I am a little bit surprised that Judge Susan Nelson declined to grant a stay, pending appeal. That indicates that she considers the probability of her decision being overturned to be low, but often, if a stay is requested for a timely appeal, it is granted.
The 8th Circuit could stay the decision, and to me, as a chaos-averse fan, it would be preferable. In a stay, the lockout would effectively continue for a while, until the Appeals court can rule. If they agree with Judge Nelson, which is likely, it's game over for the lockout. It's virtually certain that the Supreme Court isn't going to hear this case.
The reason that a stay is probably preferable for a fan is because if there's no stay, the owners will be ordered to impose rules and get back to business. Say they're required to begin a new league year by May 1st. A bunch of free agents get signed, and then the 8th Circuit overturns Nelson's ruling. What then? Are there take-backs on those signings? It'd get pretty chaotic.
7:38PM ET - The NFLPA has responded with a statement of their own:
We are pleased with the ruling granting the plaintiffs preliminary injunction to lift the NFL owners’ illegal lockout issued this afternoon by Judge Susan Richard Nelson. We believe that this 89-page well-reasoned decision is totally consistent with prior precedent, governing caselaw as well as administrative rulings on all the issues raised by the NFL Defendants. We are confident that this ruling will withstand any appeals.
7:07PM ET - The NFL has released a statement in response to Judge Nelson's ruling as follows:
We will promptly seek a stay from Judge Nelson pending an expedited appeal to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. We believe that federal law bars injunctions in labor disputes. We are confident that the Eighth Circuit will agree. But we also believe that this dispute will inevitably end with a collective bargaining agreement, which would be in the best interests of players, clubs and fans. We can reach a fair agreement only if we continue negotiations toward that goal.
6:35PM ET - Here is Judge Nelson's ruling in full. (PDF)
Marcell Dareus was born into a large family of seven children with an American-born mother and a Haitian immigrant father. He was the sixth child of the seven; six boys and a single girl (a girl who probably had a little trouble dating in high school with all those large, protective young men around). There was a lot that Marcell never really had to learn, he said - his siblings and his mother were his teachers, and the family took care of him. His father passed away when Marcell was only six, though, and his mother was left alone to raise a house full of children. Times became hard. Food could get scarce. Marcell noticed it - you don’t miss it when your belly is empty too much - but his family tried to insulate the younger ones against the worst of it.
There was a palpable joy in the family when his mother remarried - having a breadwinner helped with many things, and food not the least of them . But the celebration was cut short a few years back, when she nearly died of congestive heart failure, and was subsequently confined to a wheelchair. Marcell saw things as they were, and it broke his own big heart. He’d always been a happy-go-lucky kind of kid, with his mother having a big effect on him and all those brothers watching out for him, but this was something that he couldn’t just smile his way through. He struggled with other things - Scott Livingston, an assistant football coach at Huffington High, where Dareus spent his senior year (he’d started at Hayes HS in Avondale, and then when Hayes closed, Marcell moved to East Lake, and Huffington HS), had been looking out for the big kid, but Scott was killed in an auto accident that winter.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his MMQB, PK writes that he thinks he thinks that Carolina will indeed go with Auburn QB Cam Newton at #1 overall and that New England may already have a deal in place to deal off the #28 pick. Plus, he thinks Arizona will go with Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert, LSU CB Patrick Peterson or Georgia WR A.J. Green at #5.
PK also thinks that Judge Susan Nelson's pending decision will indeed result in an injunction of the lockout, but the real question is whether she will force the league to start its new year and thus open free agency. Remember, Gary Myers reported the other day that Judge Nelson's decision is expected to come sometime today...
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Brandon Marshall was released from a Miami hospital last night after suffering a stab wound to the stomach, with some reports stating that Marshall also suffered defensive wounds to his hands. His wife was arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, although she claimed to have acted in self defense. According to Miami Herald writer Jeff Darlington, Marshall's Dolphins teammates have already grown tired of the WR's selfishness, while fellow Herald scribe Armando Seguero writes that one of them texted, “And this is supposed to surprise me how?” when told of the incident. Just last week, SI's Peter King wrote that Miami roleplayed a scenario with TCU's Andy Dalton during his pre-draft visit to see how the QB would handle a disgruntled WR upset about a lack of catches, presumably Marshall.
Seguero says Miami is not yet considering cutting ties with Marshall, whom they acquired from the Broncos last year for second-rounders in each of the 2010 and 2011 drafts. The 2010 pick was packaged in the deal with Baltimore that allowed Denver to draft QB Tim Tebow, while this year's pick is the 46th-overall choice.Following the trade, the Dolphins gave Marshall $12.5 million in guarantees as part of a five-year deal but included the stipulation that the $6 million guaranteed portion of his 2012 salary was dependent upon him not being suspended over the first three years of the contract.
Ever have an argument with the missus and accidently slip and shatter a glass vase?
Happens all the time, right?
Brandon Marshall is particularly susceptible to slipping, despite being freakishly athletic. He just can't stop falling into glass. First it was a slippery McDonald's bag. Late last night, after a
profound discussion about John Rawls' Theory of Justice heated argument with his wife, he got all klutzy again. Unfortunately for the receiver known as The Beast, authorities had other ideas. From the Palm Beach Post:
Marshall was hospitalized last night and sent to the intensive care unit after being stabbed. According to a Broward County Sheriff’s arrest report, Nogami-Marshall said she stabbed Marshall in the abdomen with a kitchen knife out of self defense....Marshall initially tried to shield his wife from responsibility. When officers arrived at his Southwest Ranches home around 7:40 p.m., Marshall said in a sworn statement that the injury occurred when he slipped and fell on a broken glass vase. But officers did not find any blood in the immediate area to substantiate his claim.
Adam Schefter reported that Marshall's wife happened to miss his vital organs, so the wideout is expected to make a full recovery.
We can all be thankful for that, and, of course, for Marshall's attempt to "shield" his wife.
Good Morning, Broncos fans! Tim Tebow spoke with an Atlanta radio station the other day; he said it's a bit weird that there's now a statue of him in Gainesville, that throughout his high school career he'd planned on going to Alabama, and he's been working solely from under center (rather than out of the shotgun) all offseason long. Tebow also said he believes college athletes should receive bigger stipends, has a great relationship with John Elway, and believes he is working a lot harder than other players this offseason. Here's the podcast of Tebow's interview on 790 The Zone, along with a partial transcription.
UPDATED 4/28/11 - Wednesday marked the end of the Broncos' pre-draft visits, meetings and workouts, and as promised we've been tracking them all. The prospects are listed in groupings by position, along with their school, the nature of their reported interaction with the Broncos (whether it be a Dove Valley visit, private workout, Combine meeting, or reported interest) and the most recent source (with link) to confirm those interactions.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Apologies for the late Lard, but I'm off from work today and slept in a bit. As soon as I post this, I will get to work on posting a list of all the players Denver reportedly met with or worked out privately leading up to the draft. Best news of the day? Big Play Shay will be announcing both of the Broncos' second-round picks next week. Plus, be sure to read Jeffri Chadiha's excellent profile of Alabama's Marcell Dareus and this Sport Science video on Dareus that FiE shared with us yesterday.
Yesterday's pre-draft press conference from Brian "The Mind" Xanders and John "The Collar" Elway was better than nothing.
Xanders still doesn't tailor his jackets nor his penchant for malaprops. My favorite Xanders quote (aside from his propensity to simply call John Fox by his last name) from yesterday was the following:
"...we're in unchartered waters..."
Despite this, Xanders has an odd appeal to me: he's the anti-Joe Ellis. Under the buzzcut and the confusion, there just might be a savant. We'll soon find out.
Elway, for his part, could have used some gold chains. If you are going to show that much chest hair, you've got to come strong or don't come at all.
The Duke? How about the Disco Inferno?
Outside of these two observations we learned the following: