NFL: Players struggle during labor talks
Lockout has turned into limbo for NFL players and owners, and everyone is stuck there for the time being.
ěIt drives me insane, thatís what it does,î said Chicago rookie JíMarcus Webb, who was told he and a handful of other Bears couldnít use the teamís weight room Tuesday. ěIím trying to eat healthy and work out, do my job and right now Iím just stuck at home working out and watching cartoons all day.
ěWhatís up with that? Let me get back to what I do best.î
That could take a while. The 2011 season, and the business between 32 teams and their thousands of anxious players, is in a holding pattern. With more court fights and appeals expected, the NFL said it needed ěa few days to sort this outî and provide some rules for everyone to follow.
ěWe are in the process of determining throughout the league as to just how weíll proceed and when weíll open the new year across the league, the new football year,î Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. ěWe have not done that.î
At least the draft will be held this week, even if free agency and personnel swaps are up in the air.
In one of the oddest days in NFL history, players showed up at their team headquarters and most were told that they were welcome to come inside as long as they didnít participate in any sort of ěfootball activities.î
Most left in a matter of minutes with more questions than answers about where the $9 billion business is headed. And there was no consistency ó some teams allowed players to work out (Giants) while others turned them away altogether (Bills).
No rules, not yet. Just uncertainty.
In a question-and-answer memo distributed by the NFLPA, free agents were told they can contact teams and shop their services, putting pressure on the NFL to set up a free agency system that complies with antitrust laws.