MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 16: Art Rooney II (3rd R), president of the Pittsburgh Steelers, arrives for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 16, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Mediation was order after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien /Getty Images)
As multiple outlets are reporting, the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the NFL owners' motion for a full stay of the injunction lifting the lockout. Practically, nothing changes. The lockout was already in effect under the appellate court's temporary stay. However, the court's decision to grant a full stay pending appeal of the lockout is a large blow to the players. Essentially, it indicates that the 8th Circuit is extremely likely to side with the owners on the ultimate appeal as well.
Now, the next major development will happen on June 3rd, when the 8th Circuit will hear arguments on full appeal. Again, based on their reasoning in granting the stay, it seems very unlikely that their approach will change. This will probably kill OTAs, minicamps, and other workouts and practices designed to help get rookies acclimated. Free agency won't happen for some time yet. The good news is that the sides are back at the mediation table and supposedly progress is being made. There's still time for the 2011 season to be salvaged, but of course every week that ticks away without a new deal is one week closer to missing games.