The ruling from Judge Susan Richard Nelson could come as early as sometime today or this week, but the ruling could make things worse and not better. With mediation on hold until May 16 and the agreement by Brady v. NFL to put a second stipulation on extending the time to answer the complaint, a ruling by Judge Nelson of a stay could cause even more trouble.
The cases are becoming intertwined and basically dependent on one another at this point. With no mediation scheduled to take place until May 16, the rulings tend to stretch things out even longer. Now the NFL has until May 23 to answer the complaint filed by Tom Brady, et al. It is thought that Judge Nelson will likely rule for a stay in starting the NFL season, which means that free agency will be unlikely to start before the draft.
The May 23rd date and a stay ruling would mean that there would be about a month in which the NFL could appeal to the Eighth Court of Appeals, or the players can appeal, given on how the ruling comes down. The stay would prevent free agency from starting without benefit of any type of salary agreement and would most likely result in lots of charges of collusion if really good players were not sought after in the free market because teams have no idea what people will ultimately be getting paid.
Then there’s the hearing scheduled for May 12 to be heard by Judge David Doty on the TV revenues suit. All of these suits are comingled in that a lot of one decision affects the moving forward or standing still of another. The ruling by Judge Nelson if it were to be in favor of the league, would still not move anything forward, except an appeals case. The stay would prevent the start of the NFL season and would then be waiting on a ruling by the appeals court.
The more time that goes on and the more cases and rulings that are made, the more confusing things become for the average NFL fan. Court hearings are scheduled. Extensions are made. Rulings are handed down but only sort of. There are no negotiations ongoing. The only thing certain is the draft will go on this Thursday and that is about all the NFL fan can count on at this point.