MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - By DAVE CAMPBELL: AP Sports Writer
The NFL has told its teams and players to get back to football, at least for now.
In a memo released Thursday hours before the draft, the NFL said players could resume voluntary workouts at team facilities, meet with coaches and go over playbooks beginning Friday. It also promised to distribute detailed procedures for signing free agents or making trades and other roster moves. That memo, the league says, will spell out the timing for the start of the league year.
Things could change depending on how the league fares in court. It is asking a federal appeals court to put the lockout back in place. But for now, there are some guidelines to follow.
"Clubs are free to contact players immediately to advise them of the hours that the facility will be open for their use, to schedule medical and rehabilitation activity, and to arrange meetings with coaches or related activity, such as film study or classroom work," the NFL said.
The memo was released even as the court fight escalated over to run the $9 billion business and attorneys told players that a judge's decision lifting the lockout "is in full, immediate force."
Attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and James Quinn wrote that the league year "now has to begin," that players must be allowed to lift weights at team facilities, meet with coaches "and otherwise perform their jobs." "It is our view that the NFL and the clubs will be in contempt of court if they do not comply with the order," the memo said.