The lockout is over, except it's not

Two days from the start of the NFL Draft, and we finally have some non-draft news to discuss.

The only problem is, I'm not sure anybody really knows what this news means for the players, the league, or the future of the 2011 season.

As you've heard by now, Judge Susan Nelson ordered an immediate end to the lockout last night and ruled that the NFL Players Association had a right to decertify.

So since the lockout is over, player workouts can begin, free agency will start up, and the remainder of the offseason will go on as normal, right?

Wait a second. Not so fast.

The league has filed a motion for an expedited stay, which could freeze Nelson's ruling while the appeals process plays itself out. If the stay is granted, the lockout will resume until the courts work the matter out. If the stay is not given, a normal offseason could begin - which would include free agency, trades, and everything else that usually goes on during the spring and summer months.

So, basically, as of right now, the lockout is over, but not really.

It seems like no one is really sure exactly what will happen from here. Some players, like the Steelers' Ryan Clark, intend to show up at their team facilities this morning. (Those who do so would be making progress toward fulfilling their offseason workout bonuses.) Others have said that they will wait and let things calm down before returning to their teams.

Those who do decide to show up to team headquarters apparently won't be able to do much once inside the building. According to multiple reports, players will not be allowed into the weight room or training rooms, and the league has instructed its coaches and front office members to continue not talking to their players.

The players reportedly will be allowed inside team buildings - but they might not be able to do much more than walk around and hang out in the locker room.

Again, though, we'll have to see how this plays out over the next day or two.

Stay tuned.

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