If you haven't gotten used to the lockout by now, it might be time to kick up your feet and relax because it doesn't appear to be going anywhere for a while.
The Eighth Circuit is expected to rule in favor of the owners Wednesday and grant a full stay to keep the lockout in place for at least one more month, according to two reports — one by NFL Network, and the other by, surprisingly, Chad Ochocinco's Twitter account.
This means the lockout will stay in place through the owners' injunction appeal. The Eighth Circuit will hear that appeal June 3 in St. Louis, and there is no timetable for an expected ruling.
If the Eighth Circuit rules in favor of the owners on the injunction appeal, the lockout will remain in place until the two sides can reach a new collective bargaining agreement. Since they were worlds apart during their negotiations in early March, such a ruling would put the 2011 season in grave jeopardy.
However, if the Eighth Circuit rules in favor of the players, the lockout will be lifted, and the NFL will have to open its doors for all business operations under the guise of the 2010 labor rules. There would likely be a condensed set of offseason camps before training camps open in late July, and the regular season will be unscathed.
In that scenario, the two sides would not have to reach a new CBA to play the 2011 season, or any seasons thereafter, for that matter. Two decades ago, the NFL operated without a CBA for six seasons. The NFL would continue to operate under the 2010 guidelines until a CBA is reached.