The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals granted the NFL's request for a permanent stay during the appeals process, meaning the lockout will continue for at least another month barring the two sides coming to an agreement. Considering how unlikely a new CBA suddenly being worked out seems, there is really no end in sight.
The NFL will appeal Judge Susan Nelson's ruling on June 3. This appeals process is being expedited since time is of the essence, and previously the NFL received a temporary stay. The players were hoping a permanent stay would be denied and the NFL would be forced to open the 2011 league season, finally getting free agency started and allowing for OTAs and minicamps. That didn't end up happening, however, thanks to a 2-1 ruling in favor of the NFL.
What this does is give the NFL a lot of leverage. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has made it clear so far they favor the NFL, and I like the league's chances when their appeal is heard on June 3. If that also goes in the league's favor, the players will really be in trouble. It's not looking good for them right now, but perhaps this will light a fire under them and speed up the process of getting a deal done. Nothing so far has suggested this will change anything, but never say never, I guess.