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NFL Lockout Over: NFL Informs Teams That Operations Will Begin Friday

Josh Cribbs will be happy. The National Football League sent notice to it's teams, including the Cleveland Browns, that league operations will lurch back to life on Friday after a series of courtroom defeats have forced their hand. The NFL, in a letter to teams, said most league-wide activities will begin at 8AM on Friday morning with further instructions involving player transactions will come later in the day.

What does that mean?

  • Players will be permitted to use club facilities for physical examinations, rehabilitation and medical treatment, as scheduled by the club.
  • Clubs will be permitted to distribute playbooks, game film and other similar materials to players.
  • Coaches may meet with players for the purpose of discussing any materials distributed to players under item 2 above, as well as the club's off-season workout program, its schedule of mini-camps, Organized Team Activities ("OTAs"), and other similar matters.
  • Voluntary off-season workout programs, including OTAs and classroom instruction, may begin subject to the rules in Article XXXV of the 2006 CBA and Appendix L. Participating players will be paid $130 per day, provided the player fulfills the club's reasonable off-season workout requirements. Such workouts will count toward the requirements of any off-season workout bonus in the player's contract.
  • On days during which no official off-season workouts or OTAs are scheduled under item 4 above, nothing shall prevent the club from permitting any player to use the club facility to work out on his own on a voluntary, unpaid basis during normal business hours, or such other hours as may be set by the club, provided: (i) there is no participation or supervision by any coach, trainer or other club personnel; and (ii) the club has first verified that the player has an existing medical insurance policy in place. Players without such personal coverage should not be permitted to work out at the club facility on an unsupervised basis under this item 5, but may do so under item 4 above. Unsupervised workouts will not count toward the requirements of any off-season workout bonus in the player's contract. This item 5 will apply both prior to and after the commencement of the club's official off-season workout program.
  • Mandatory and voluntary mini-camps may begin subject to the rules in Article XXXVI of the 2006 CBA.
  • The league office will promptly make arrangements to resume counseling, rehabilitation and treatment activities in connection with the substances of abuse and steroid programs. We will advise clubs as to when and on what basis testing will commence.
  • Players may participate in club-sponsored charitable and community relations events.
There is a caveat, however. The NFL is still awaiting word from the 8th District Court of Appeals to see if they overrule Judge Nelson's decision regarding the Lockout and the stay. If the court overturns Judge Nelson's ruling, we'll be back at square one.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.