Chicago Sun-Times

Bears, other NFL teams, to open doors Friday

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The Bears have been waiting for a response from the league before deciding whether to open their doors to players. Apparently, they have their answer after the league issued a memo stating that --- barring an appeals court ruling in their favor today --- NFL teams will be allowed into team facilities on Friday.

"We -- just moments ago -- notified our clubs that we think it's appropriate under the circumstances to take additional steps in response to the injunction," Aiello told "ProFootballTalk Live". "So the facilities will open tomorrow at 8 a.m. Eastern time. In the meantime, clubs are free immediately to start contacting players and let them know when the facilities will be open for use."

That means, according to an NFL statement, players can go to their facilities for medical exams, film study and to meet with coaches. Teams can also start scheduling organized team activities.

The league year has yet to officially begin, however, which means trading players and signing free agents can't happen today.

"Judge Nelson said it was up to us to determine how to proceed, and we think in light of the fact that the first round of the draft is tonight, clubs are fully focused on that," Aiello said. "The best way to proceed is for the veterans to start working out at facilities tomorrow, and then we'll set up the process of starting the league year, which would include player trades and player signings. . . . No player transactions until we start the league year."

If the appeals court issues a stay, all bets are off.

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The way I see it, the start of the league year will be pushed back to midnight Thursday morning, so they have a week to get prepared for free agency. If the appeals court does not issue the stay, I would be curious to see whether the teams will implement an emergency provision to allow for trades of players currently under contract as part of the draft. Not likely, but it would help a lot of teams with QB issues, and could get things started in a hurry on free agency.

Hopefully this will at least get the season underway, so we don't have to worry about missed games and no training camp. From the Bears perspective, we need all the time we can get to prepare the abomination the offensive line will be in 2011.

Hells yeah, told you the owners would have to break soon. They were walking a fine line into collusion. I know its not over yet, but can you imagine if FA starts on monday which it will and mini camps and all that, and then a few weeks later the owners appeal to the 8th, get a stay(doubtful) and then lockout the players again. They will lose all credit with the fans if they try that, public opinion will swing in a mjor way towards the players if they try that.

They should go back to 2009 rules rather than 2010 rules though at least where FA is concerned. Then owners and players can work all year to figure out a new agreement, like they should have to begin with.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on April 28, 2011 12:15 PM.

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