NFL Owners Granted Permanent Stay

The NFL’s lockout stays, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. That means the league likely won’t get back to business until next month and maybe for much longer.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the lockout can remain intact until a full appeal is heard on whether it is legal. That hearing is scheduled June 3 in St. Louis, and it is before the same panel that issued this 2-1 decision.

The appellate court said it believed the NFL has proven it “likely will suffer some degree of irreparable harm without a stay.” It also cast doubt on the conclusions of U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson, who ruled April 25 that the lockout should be lifted — only to have the 8th Circuit panel put her decision on hold four days later.

“The league has made a strong showing that it is likely to succeed on the merits,” the majority wrote.

The decision came on the same day NFL owners and players resumed court-ordered mediation behind closed doors for eight hours. It was the fifth day of talks in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan, but the first since April 20.

Neither the players nor the owners would elaborate on the discussions but Michael Hausfeld, an attorney representing the retired players in the labor squabble, told ESPN’s Sal Paolantonio on Monday that the owners have made a new proposal that has “released the stalemate.”

“The players are considering their proposal and formulating a response. It’s not acceptable as is, but it’s a starting point,” Hausfeld said.

Hall of Famer Carl Eller, also among those representing retired players, told Paolantonio earlier Monday that Boylan extended Monday’s talks after the owners agreed to produce a new offer.

Eller said the league’s decision created “positive feelings in the room.” The sides planned to return Tuesday morning.

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