Many agents and general managers are bracing for the NFL league year to begin as soon as Monday if the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals does not grant the NFL's request for a stay of the ruling in Minneapolis that granted the players an injunction to lift the current lockout.
The league issued a statement on post-injunction operations on Thursday, saying it will distribute a notice to clubs -- likely on Friday -- about the timing for the commencement of the league year, free agent signings and other customary player transactions (such as signings, trades of player contracts, terminations, tryouts, etc.).
Several top agents are advising their clients to prepare for being able to truly hit the free-agent market on Monday, which is when they expect the league year to open. If that happened, there likely would be undrafted rookie free agents hitting the market at the same time as veteran free agents. Many expect the league to implement rules from the 2010 season, though nothing is concrete at this time.