NEW YORK -- Earlier on Thursday, the former NFL Players Association had a reception for prospects at a nearby hotel. During the event, former executive director DeMaurice Smith said he believed that judge Susan Nelson's decision directed the NFL to return to business as usual. And that includes free agency. The NFL has said that all teams will open their doors to players starting Friday morning if the Eighth Circuit doesn't grant a stay in the case.
As it stands, teams are able to trade picks but not players during the draft. Under normal circumstances, teams have more resources if they want to trade up or down. If the teams do not trade any players despite a return to normal rules, player lawyers could use that as evidence of collusion in any future filings.