Good Morning, Broncos fans! The NFL last night won its first victory in the labor battle with the players, as the Eighth Circuit made permanent their stay of Judge Nelson's lockout injunction, or in plainer English the lockout is back on in a big way. Even more plainly, yesterday means that there is in fact now a real chance that the 2011 season will be delayed, as the lockout will likely continue throughout the appeals process if not longer. Arguments before the Eighth Circuit will begin on June 3, although yesterday's decision makes it appear the owners are likely to win their appeal of Judge Nelson's lockout injunction.
Granted, this decision is not a huge surprise in light of the Eighth Circuit's prior granting of a temporary stay, the lengthy time it took to make that decision permanent, and its expedition of the appeals process. And while this most certainly swings a good deal of leverage back to the owners, whatever penalty Judge Doty imposes in his looming decision regarding the TV lockout insurance money is expected to give "momentum" back to the players. Of course, the owners will surely appeal that decision as well, as is their right...
Matt Bowen says the lockout is starting to actually impact football by keeping coaches from installing playbooks and helping correct players' flaws. Plus, he points specifically to the QB battle in Denver, where everyday the coaching staff can see the players in person goes towards evaluating the competitors - even in May and June. Finally, he says the lack of offseason especially hurts teams like Denver that have new coaching staffs running the show.
Klis writes about Brian Dawkins' notable leadership, especially important with a quarterback controversy keeping Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow from truly asserting themselves. Even so, Klis says that Dawkins may have to restructure his hefty contract in order to stay with the team - he's due to make $6 million each of the next three seasons.
Farrar covers FO's post-draft look at the AFCW and naturally writes that Denver's biggest remaining hole is at DT, although he didn't get the memo on Big Vick's weight loss.
Gray Caldwell looks ahead to Denver's Week 3 matchup at Tennessee.
Teicher on the future of veterans and union leaders Mike Vrabel and Brian Waters with the Chiefs.
Jerry McDonald thinks the Raiders should try to get themselves onto Hard Knocks.
Reactions to the Eighth Circuit
Although no details have emerged, the owners did submit a new proposal to the players.
Judy Battista sums up the decision and its implications.
Andrew Brandt reminds us that taking the labor dispute to court was and is all about gaining leverage, and that a deal will ultimately still be struck at the negotiating table. Plus, he hopes that the time between yesterday's decision and that of Judge Doty may provide a window for a deal before Doty presumably swings the momentum back to the players' side. Before the Eighth Circuit issued the permanent stay, Brandt laid out the details of where the labor fight stands.
Doug Farrar says the players can win back some leverage starting on June 3 in Judge Doty's court.
In fact, Jim Trotter says whatever penalty Judge Doty awards could serve to keep the players afloat during a lockout.
Mike Florio would like to see the NFL stop trying to squeeze money out of the players.
Alex Marvez writes that the lockout may not end until paychecks start getting missed in September.
The Bucs have decided against being the focus of this year's Hard Knocks.
Even if Reggie Bush and the Saints both stay they want to continue their relationship, Bucky Brooks says there may not be room for Bush in the New Orleans backfield.
While Chad Johnson pursues stunt after stunt to widen his image, Mike Lombardi says the guy isn't a very good WR anymore.
As Pat Kirwan points out, the lockout means teams have even more time to learn more tricks from watching film of the Packers' defense.
Via a breakdown of Ndamukong Suh's rookie season, Sam Monson explains that sacks paint only a small picture of a player's disruptiveness.
PFW takes a post-draft look at the Browns.
Here's what Chris Brown has been watching/reading.
Peter King retracted his story about what turned out to be an imaginary radio appearance by Daniel Snyder.
KSK translates newly-unveiled fiction writer Peter King's MMQB.
As part of burger month, Travel + Leisure ranks Denver as the #4 best burger city in the country. What's your favorite Denver burger joint, and what make it so?
The Twins' players have decided to properly honor their franchise's legendary slugger Harmon Killebrew by wearing 1961-version home jerseys. (via SOB)
Soccer players dropping trophies off the top of buses has become a worldwide epidemic. Makes sense - if these guys had better hand-eye coordination they'd be playing something other than soccer, anyway...
We can only hope that someday we'll get a Broncos player tweet of this quality into Tweets of the Week...
A new Gators wideout has quite the pregame ritual: dropping a deuce and listening to Katy Perry.
With the possibility that the lockout will go on longer than hoped, perhaps this will sate your competitive appetite: the 2011 World Beard Championships.
Candy BBQ from Epic Meal Time.
What better way to kill a rain delay than jousting?