WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — It looks like right now, the NFL lockout may be over. A federal judge ordered an end to the lockout today, claiming it was causing irreversible harm to players’ careers. But, the lockout might not be lifted for long. The NFL has said they plan to appeal the order.
“I think today’s a big day for the players because it shows that the judge ruled in favor of us from the stand point that it’s hurting our ability to workout,” said Connor Barth, a native of Wilmington and kicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Barth says he’s supposed to be working out with his team and preparing for the 2011 season, but since the NFL lockout started in March, he wasn’t even sure if there would be a next season.
“It wasn’t just effecting the players,” said Barth. “It’s effecting hotels, it’s effecting people that work concessions, it’s effecting everybody, and I think the judge saw that and there’s just no reason for that to be happening. There should be a season and we should just get things worked out.”
Jay Ross, a New Hanover High School graduate and rookie on the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers says the lockout has been difficult for him because he is so new to the league.
“Last year was my first year so I still have a lot of work to do,” said Ross. “Not being able to be around your teammates and the older guys and them not being able to help coach you was kind of tough for me.”
Though the NFL has promised to appeal the judge’s order to lift the lockout, Ross says he’s optimistic about next season.
“I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a season,” said Ross. “There was talk of not being able to go back until September, which is skipping training camp and all that, but regardless there is going to be a season. I mean, everybody sits around on Thanksgiving and watches football. You can’t go a whole year without football.”
Both Ross and Barth say they haven’t spoken to their coaches since the lockout started and hope that with it being lifted, they can finally talk to them.
The NFL Draft will take place Thursday through Saturday as scheduled under a provision in the now expired collective bargaining agreement.