MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MAY 17: NFL lawyer Jeff Pash (L), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Art Rooney II (R), president of the Pittsburgh Steelers arrive for court ordered mediation at the U.S. Courthouse on May 17, 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As the NFL lockout remains in place mediation was ordered after a hearing on an antitrust lawsuit filed by NFL players against the NFL owners after labor talks between the two broke down in March. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
The 8th circuit court has ruled for the NFL owners in the Brady vs NFL case by a 2-1 vote. The decision essentially means that the court has declared the lockout legal and vindicated the owners legal strategy so far. Of course, this is really no surprise as it has been apparent since the court decided the hear the case that it was very likely that they would overturn the lower court's ruling for the players.
But what does this mean for the actual negotiations? Well, that depends on how much of the reporting about them has been true. Like I said, this decision is no surprise. So it really doesn't hand the owners any more leverage than they already had. The players would have known they would lose this suit already. So, if the reporting is to be believed and the sides are close to a deal, this ruling really shouldn't have any effect.
If anything, it's just another reason to get it done. Especially for the players, who now know for sure that the owners can lock them out and not play them next year if a new deal is not reached.
So now that the court fight is essentially over, all eyes turn back to the negotiations as the sides try to hammer out a deal by next week.