The NFL filed a brief with the appeals court asking for the lockout to remain in effect while the appeals process continues. A ruling is expected later the week. Plus, more cleanup notes from the draft.
There were shock waves that went through NFL draft weekend as a brief window of opportunity allowed the new Vikings offense to send playbooks to its players. After the NFL won its appeal to keep the lockout in force in Appeals Court, the league is now fighting to keep the lockout in place.
Claiming the lockout won't interrupt the 2011 season, the league filed an 18-page brief in a St. Louis courtroom Monday asking that the lockout remain in effect permanently while appeals play out. A ruling is expected to be rendered this week.
Last Friday, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the lockout, which had been lifted earlier in the week by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson. The filing is intended to bolster the NFL case and get a permanent stay granted. The league claims the appeals process won't get in the way of the 2011 season. The players contend that there isn't a certainty that the appeals process will be completed quickly. The NFL countered that the process should takes weeks, not months.
Owners and players are scheduled to resume mediation in Minneapolis on May 16, but, with the changing face of the process flip-flopping from one week to the next, what optimism there was prior to the draft that business as usual could return is fading. Both sides seem dug in at this point and, unless forced by the courts, those positions won't change any time soon.
Mel Kiper released his final draft grades and gave the Lions an A+ for value picks and an overall grade of A-, the highest grade he gave out. The Packers ranked eighth overall with a value grade of B and overall grade of B+. The Bears finished 12th with a grade of B- on value picks and an overall grade of B. The Vikings finished a dismal 28th with a value grade of C+ and an overall grade of C+. Seattle was given the worst draft grade with a D for value and a D+ overall grade.
A study released Monday said that, after an examination of the brain of former Chicago Bear Dave Duerson, who committed suicide in February, showed that his brain had sustained "moderately advanced" damage due to multiple blows to the head.
The UFL held its draft Monday, taking players who went undrafted in last weekend's draft. Former Chiefs defensive tackle Ryan Sims was drafted. Sims could have been a Viking if a controversy on 2002 draft day went Minnesota's way. The Chiefs made a trade with Dallas to jump ahead of the Vikings, but the clock ran out. Then-head coach Mike Tice made a big stink about it and draft chief Frank Gilliam admitted to Viking Update that the name the Vikings had on their card was Sims, who ended up being taken by Kansas City. The Vikings filled out a new card and drafted Bryant McKinnie. Sometimes you're better off not getting what you initially want.
There was a lot of discussion about Ryan Mallett falling to the third round and getting selected by the Patriots. The pick New England used to draft him was the pick they got from the Vikings in the Randy Moss trade.
The Atlanta Falcons were aggressive in giving up a bounty of draft picks, including a pair of first- and second-round picks in this year's and next year's draft in order to jump from No. 26 to No. 6 to take Julio Jones. Reports out of Atlanta claim that the team was looking to move up to No. 2 to take either Jones or A.J. Green. The Falcons are no strangers to the big trade. When they drafted Michael Vick, they traded to get the No. 1 overall pick from San Diego, but gave up far less to get Vick than to get Jones.
The Vikings had an unusual name game over draft weekend, drafting two players named Christian, two players named Brandon and two players named Burton.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.