<
>

Matt Light tells Pats to sit tight

BOSTON --
New England Patriots player representative Matt Light said he was pleased that a judge lifted the NFL lockout, but he has told teammates to sit tight until there is further resolution to the situation.

"It is a great thing for the players, from the standpoint that hopefully this will get us back to the [negotiating] table," Light said Tuesday. "We still have a long way to go, but this is definitely a good thing."

Light was holding a "Lockout Breakfast" at the Liberty Hotel the morning after U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled in the players' favor regarding the labor standstill. Owners have appealed, however.

"I think the process will work itself out," Light said. "We have a strong case, obviously Judge Nelson agreed with that end of it. Hopefully we'll continue that process. Either way, it's all about getting back to the [negotiating] table. It always has been since Day 1. This will definitely help out in this effort."

Players from around the league showed up at their teams' training facilities Tuesday morning and were allowed in, only to be told they couldn't work out. Light advised Patriots players not to get too excited yet.

Light said a conference call is scheduled for Tuesday night with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith.

"What I've been telling the guys is 'give it a little time,' " Light said. "Guys are wondering, 'Do I need to get on a plane today? How do I proceed?' I can't give them answers to all those things, but hopefully later on tonight I will have more of them."

The NFL issued a statement Tuesday indicating players would not be allowed to work out.

"We are going to proceed in an orderly way that is fair to the teams and players and complies with court orders," the statement read. "Players are being treated with courtesy and respect at club facilities. We do not believe it is appropriate for football activities to take place until there are further rulings from the court. Under the last set of proposals made to the NFLPA, teams wouldn't even be into offseason programs yet. We need a few days to sort this out, as NFLPA attorney Jim Quinn indicated last night."

According to Patriots spokesman Stacey James, no players entered the Patriots' facility Tuesday. James said one player was spotted in the parking lot, but left without any interaction with any team staff or stadium personnel.

Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork said he won't go until there is more clarity with the labor situation.

"I won't head to Foxborough until everything is over with," he said. "I don't think that is the right way [to do things] in this situation."

He's been working out at his Florida home and thinking about life after football.

"This time off, you really sit back and think a lot. I tell my wife [Bianca] all the time that I could get used to retirement. She just gives me a look like, 'You're crazy.'

"That's one of those things that does go through your mind. I'm coming up to eight years [in the NFL]. I'm pretty sure it runs through people's minds, retirement. You never know, man, [with] how long this thing gets dragged out, but hopefully it will be over soon and we can all be back to doing what we love."

Wilfork said he believes there will be a season in 2011, it's just a matter of when.

"It's so much to lose as fans, owners and players, not to have it," he said.

Mike Reiss covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.