NFL: Judge’s ruling discounted harm to league

The NFL says a federal judge failed to consider all the harm that would be inflicted on team owners when she lifted football’s labor lockout last month.

Attorneys for the league filed a brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis on Monday. The 74-page filing laid out the league’s position in advance of a June 3 hearing on its appeal of U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson’s decision in the fight between the NFL and its players.

Nelson issued an injunction that lifted the lockout on April 25. But the 8th Circuit issued a temporary hold of that order four days later – meaning that players can’t work out now with any of the 32 clubs.

NFL attorneys argue that it would be impossible to “unscramble the eggs” if the lockout is lifted and player signings are allowed before a new labor deal is in place. They say the best players would likely sign with the “more favorably-situated” teams, creating a competitive imbalance.