Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Ten things to know about the Wednesday court hearing.
1. What’s it all about? The players, faced with the threat of a lockout, opted to shut down the union and sue the NFL for violation of the antitrust laws. The primary argument is that any effort by the league to behave collectively after the union disbanded violates the antitrust laws, because the league is made up of 32 separate businesses that can’t agree to act in concert.
The primary goal of the lawsuit is block the lockout. Toward that end, the players filed a motion for what the legal process calls a "preliminary injunction," a fairly common device that seeks a fairly extraordinary remedy. The players basically want to obtain now one of the things they would get if they win — an order preventing the league from preventing the players from working.
The arguments are simple. The players believe that the union properly shut down, requiring the 32 teams to deal with a non-union workforce, and subjecting the league to antitrust liability for collective actions or rules. The NFL believes that the union decertification was a sham aimed at acquiring leverage via the antitrust lawsuit and the attempt to end the lockout.
To get an injunction while the case continues, the players must persuade the court that they will suffer "irreparable harm" absent a lifting of the lockout. A legal term of art, "irreparable harm" refers to injuries that can’t be remedied by an award of money damages entered at the end of the case.
The league believes that, if the players win, they can be compensated financially for all lost wages and bonuses and other forms of compensation. The players believe that the disruption to already short NFL careers cannot be fixed with an award of cash later.
- Ian Rapoport notes yesterday was 'Danny Woodhead Day' at ESPN, as the Patriots RB made the rounds on several shows.
- Greg A. Bedard reports today's court decision is the key to the labor fight, whether Judge Susan Nelson grants the injunction to block the lockout or not.
- Jon Krawczynski (AP) Stakes high in NFL lockout hearing.
- Christopher Price reports Tom Brady was spotted working out with Cardinals DB Kerry Rhodes.
- Chad Finn offers a flashback to what the most respected NFL draft analyst of the time had to say about Tom Brady in 2000.
- Ian Rapoport notes Matt Light and Leigh Bodden were two of many current and ex-players to receive grants from NFL Charities to support their foundations.
- Mike Reiss offers some soundbites from Tedy Bruschi on WEEI.
- Mike Reiss posts the transcript of Danny Woodhead's Q&A with the fans.
Mike Reiss talks with Danny Woodhead about his success Part 1 and Part 2.
- Tom E. Curran looks at Patriots potential draftee RB Mikel Leshoure (Illinois).
- Ian Rapoport wonders if Alabama RB Mark Ingram could slip in the draft, right into the Patriots hands.
- Shalise Manza Young scouts the draft: G/C Mike Pouncey (Florida).
- Tom E. Curran points out the legal danger of the Patriots trading for future picks in upcoming drafts as they normally do.
- Mike Reiss answers his weekly reader mailbag.
- Christopher Price looks at who was the best eighth-round pick in Patriots history.
- NESN counts down the top ten uniforms in the NFL.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Woodhead revisits getting axed by Jets.
- Vinnie Iyer and Russ Lande (Sporting News) The belief: The Patriots will trade down to acquire more draft picks.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) One thing writers agree on: Belichick is league's best coach.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Power Rankings: Top 10 head coaches.
- NFL Labor News (NFLLabor.com) NFL Charities awards $1 million in grants to current & former players as part of annual player foundation grants.
- Greg Gabriel (Nat'l Football Post) Final preparations for the Draft as the big weekend nears.
- Mike Mayock (NFL.com) Defense still rules top 32, but with a few fresh faces included.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) Prospect stock watch.
- Don Banks (SI) Running backs diminish in value, as 2011 draft's first round will show.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Mail: Leshoure gaining on Ingram in race to be first RB taken.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Breaking down the rules regarding pre-draft rookie visits.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) J.J. Watt's a Patriot in AFC East mock draft.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Court combines Brady, Eller cases for Wednesday's hearing.
- Andrew Brandt (Nat'l Football Post) Courtroom football begins: what will happen.
- Clark Judge (CBS Sports) Lockout primer: Questions, answers, winning scenarios.
- Gary Graves (USA Today) 10 questions: What's at stake for NFL in lockout court hearing?
- Alan Schwarz (NY Times) NFL players put faith in lawyer's bold move.
- Albert Breer (NFL.com) NFL, players ready for lockout hearing, but big names missing.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Plenty of big names won't attend April 6 hearing.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Five plaintiffs at antitrust case, including Mike Vrabel.
- Judy Battista (NY Times) NFL and players head to court to argue lockout.
- Michael Silver (Yahoo! Sports) Brady can aid fantastic finish to labor dispute.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) John Clayton: Lockout heads to court Wednesday. (1.40 min. video)
Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) NFL labor update. (2.33 min. video)