NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — A day after a federal judge ended the NFL’s 45-day lockout, a small group of Jets showed up at the team’s facility Tuesday but were told they would not be allowed to train or work out.
Each spent about 15 “awkward” minutes there before heading back home.
“We didn’t have much access to much. (We) didn’t get to see the coaches or anything like that,” Jets defensive end Mike DeVito told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. “But it was good to just see the place again, I guess.”
The league said players should be “treated with courtesy and respect” if they show up at team headquarters. But the NFL said it needs “a few days to sort this out” before “football activities” can take place.
“I was probably there for about 10-15 minutes,” said DeVito. “Some of the organization had met me at the door. They kind of sat me down and told me, ‘Look there’s nothing going on here today. There’s no weight room, no coaches, no training room, nothing like that. Basically, you can stay here and hang out if you want but there’s nothing really going on.’”
LISTEN: Mike DeVito shows at Jets’ facility, has nothing to do
Jets players Brandon Moore, D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Bart Scott, David Harris and Jerricho Cotchery also reported to the team facility.
Moore says it was “weird” not to have normal access, while DeVito says the facility “was like a ghost town.”
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said she would take at least another day before ruling on the NFL’s request for a stay of her order, so she can hear from players.
Little was clear as both sides essentially made up the rules as they went along.
“It was kind of a way to show that we’re united, we want to be there and we want to work,” DeVito said. “Any opportunity we could get to be at the facility and try to get a chance to get a chance to work out and meet with the coaches and stuff, we were going to take that opportunity.”
Not so much. And it may be a while.
Nelson lifted the 45-day lockout Monday, writing in an 89-page order that she believed it is causing “irreparable harm” to the players. The NFL immediately filed notice of an appeal and the questions began.
In an opinion piece posted late Monday on the Wall Street Journal website, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote that Nelson’s ruling “may significantly alter professional football as we know it. … By blessing this negotiating tactic (recognizing the players’ right to dissolve their union), the decision may endanger one of the most popular and successful sports leagues in history.”
Owners imposed the lockout after talks broke down March 11 and the players disbanded their union.
With appeals expected, the fight seems likely to drag on through the spring. The closer it gets to August, when training camps and the preseason get into full swing, the more likely it becomes that regular-season games could be canceled.
Should the Jets have allowed DeVito and the others to work out? Sound off below!
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