In an interview with on Tuesday, Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy said he expected Nelson to grant the stay. The main reason Murphy expected Nelson to grant the stay was because of the chaos that might result from a reversal of her ruling by the Eighth Circuit Court, to which Murphy said the league would appeal Nelson’s ruling.

At issue is the term “business as usual.” If in denying the stay Thursday effectively becomes the first day of the league year, then the first question that must be answered is this: Has free agency begun?

The NFL’s 32 teams were awaiting word from the league on how to proceed. will update this story as details emerge.