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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — On one of the busiest days of the year for the NFL, teams were plotting not only how to land the best draft picks but just how to let their most-prized employees return to work.
Welcome back, players. For now, at least.
The NFL cleared the way for some of its basic football operations to begin Friday, five days after a federal judge declared the lockout illegal and nearly seven weeks after it began.
Players can talk with coaches, work out at team headquarters and look at their playbooks.
“Everybody’s tired of sitting around, laying around,” Denver Broncos linebacker Joe Mays said. “We’ve had enough of that. Now, we’re trying to get back to business.”
New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes said he planned to be at team headquarters.
“I am looking forward to catching up with everyone in the entire organization,” Tynes said.
The San Francisco 49ers were among the handful of teams with new staffs — they hired Jim Harbaugh as head coach in January — who haven’t even been able to meet their players.
“It’s time to get back to coaching,” general manager Trent Baalke said.
Fans, too, are desperate for a football fix.
Commissioner Roger Goodell was roundly booed by fans when he first appeared on stage for the NFL draft Thursday.