The expectation was for the ruling on the stay to come down from Judge Nelson today: she would either grant a stay and thus temporarily extend the lockout, or block it and force the NFL to kick off a new league year. She did neither, instead asking the plaintiffs (players) to comment on the request for a stay, giving them a deadline of tomorrow 9am (central). She has since received said comments, which is predictably "please force the owners to end the lockout", and has given a new deadline for owners to respond, by 5pm tomorrow. Now we're waiting for that response before any ruling is made.
The details of this limbo are hard to figure out. Coaches should be able to contact players but teams have advised them not to (or that they can't, which is a matter of interpretation). Players are "returning to work", which means checking into the facility, which unlocks workout bonuses for some. The teams are not currently barring players from team facilities, but they are barring them from workouts and access to the weight rooms. That is likely all that will happen today and seems a reasonable response. Before one gets angry at owners, realize that with no rules in place the liability and insurance of players using weight rooms is simply unknown, posing enormous financial risks.
Free agency is still closed. It can not kick off until the NFL starts a league year, which it will not do unless and until judge Nelson orders them to by refusing to grant a stay. So, likely delayed until tomorrow.
What are the Seahawks players doing about all of this, you ask? Well, that's more problematic...
Some of them seem to be in no hurry to report. Aaron Curry is in Puerto Rico.
Big Mike Williams was reported to not report (he's in Florida), though he did encouragingly comment:
If the lockout was over today, I would be totally fine with coming up there tomorrow and weighing in and making my money on the bonus, showing these guys that this first year wasn't really a fluke and I'm ready to come back this year and do even better.
Someone asked him "you guys heading to the VMAC today? #backtowork", to which BMW replied "@mikeapaug @ShowtimeTate @BDR76 if big Walt is coming back, I'll be there in 20 minutes!!!". Russell Okung retweeted and Golden Tate noted "@BigMikeWill17 I'll be there Friday lol".
However! Here comes the interesting part. Apparently, the Seahawks are actually barring players from the facilities. DB Roy Lewis states that he found the doors locked:
Yesterdays decision was BIG for the #NFL- but If the #lockout has been lifted, why are the doors still LOCKED? #letusplay
LB Anthony Heygood notes the same:
Well us #Seahawks arent allowed back in the building either. So lifted? I dont think so. #imissvmac
I hope this is some misunderstanding and quickly resolved, because this would be pointless and petty by the Seahawks organization, and possibly in contempt of court. Danny O'Neil has more.
EDIT: the team has crossed the line, and barred Justin Forsett:
Just tried getting in the facility #Fail