Tue May 10 09:23am EDT
With the Brady v. NFL case droning on and on through the Court of Appeals (apparently, the judges will proceed when their dockets are cleared, or when they get over that case of bad swordfish, or whatever), there's some fun coming next week when Judge David Doty decides on damages in the lockout insurance case, but things seem to be moving ever more slowly when it comes to actual football this fall, especially actual football starting on time.
The New Orleans Saints running back (at least he is now; what the first-round selection of Alabama's Mark Ingram(notes) says about his future is something we don't yet know) recently went on Twitter and said that as far as he's concerned, the lockout is just dandy with him.
Most people aren't going to buy the "it's just a joke" angle, and that's a problem. Most veteran players with more skin in the game and guaranteed roster spots somewhere generally view minicamps with a jaundiced eye, but OTAs are crucial for the one group that is absolutely suffering irreparable harm right now — the group of undrafted free agents that can't even sign with a team because the 2011 draft was the last event covered by the old collective bargaining agreement.
Players are responding in different ways to the ongoing loss of their livelihoods and passions — at this point, it's a near-certainty that there won't be a meaningful court-mandated lifting of the lockout until the case is actually heard in early June. The owners continue to contend that the current business model is unsustainable, while the players claim that the lockout is a violation of antitrust law, and they're suffering irreparable harm as a result of the fact that they're not allowed to prepare for a season during careers that are already frighteningly short as is.
It's all well and good for Bush to say what he wants regarding the offseason. But it is obviously very foolish and ill-advised to play up the Club Med aspects of the lockout at a time when the players are claiming irreparable harm — and many players have a legitimate case for it.
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