The NFL on Thursday notified its teams that they can resume operations, including most offseason activities, beginning Friday at 8 a.m. ET.
According to a statement issued by the league, team officials may immediately contact players to advise them about the hours the facilities will be open for use, schedule medical and rehabilitation sessions and set up meetings with coaches.
In the statement, the league said it notified all teams that it likely will address when the 2011 league year will start on Friday. That would encompass player transactions such as free-agent signings.
Several general managers and player agents told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that they are preparing for Monday to be the day transactions can begin.
The guidelines were released a few hours before the NFL draft, where teams were still allowed only to swap picks, not players.
The NFL said it was taking the steps as an appropriate response to the preliminary lockout injunction granted by U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson. The NFL's request for a stay was denied Wednesday. The league is awaiting further guidance from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, with which it has filed an appeal of the injunction and sought a stay.
The league's statement details eight points that deal with everything from players' use of facilities to contact with team officials and the start of voluntary offseason workout programs.
Players who showed up at team complexes around the league Thursday again weren't allowed to do any activities.