With the going-nowhere Round 2 of mediation between the owners and players on a break until May 16, it's time for U.S. District Court Judge Susan Nelson of St. Paul, Minn., to take center stage. It's just about time for her ruling on the NFLPA's request for a preliminary injunction to lift the lockout.
I'm hearing Nelson will issue the ruling on Monday. The players are the heavy favorites to win this round.
That doesn't mean the lockout ends right away and free agency starts. Nelson will either issue a stay on her ruling pending appeal to the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis or the loser will get a stay pending appeal directly from the Eighth Circuit. The winner of the appeal gains the leverage.