NFLPA Out Of Line In Asking Rookies To Skip Draft

The chess game between the NFL Owners and the NFLPA (or the group formally known as the NFLPA) continued on Monday, as rookies were asked by the union to not attend the upcoming NFL Draft.

While all league activity has shut down due to the lock out of the players by the owners, the Draft is still being planned to take place in April. It is the one bright spot the NFL has right now, and the NFLPA is trying to ruin it.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the top 17 prospects have already been contacted by the NFLPA, and told not to attend the draft. The NFLPA has even thought about asking them to skip post-draft interviews, and not allowing players to conduct them on the NFL Network.

Whether or not the players sign on to the NFLPA’s attack on the NFL is yet to be seen, but there is little doubt that they were out of line to even ask.

There are few things in life that are literally a “once in a life time opportunity”, but walking across stage at the NFL draft is one of them. The drafted players have worked for many years to get to that point. The families of those players have sacrificed and supported the player. The moment is meant for the player and the family, not for the NFL.

The only people hurt by the players not showing up to the draft will be the players. The draft will get the same ratings whether or not the players attend. Over the years, fewer players have decided to attend, but the ratings keep going up.

But the players who had planned on attending the draft this year are now being put in an awkward position. They are forced to decide between their family and the group of players they are now going to play with. Imagine being drafted by the New Orleans Saints, going to the draft against the NFLPA’s wishes, and then being in the locker room with Drew Brees. Brees has been very vocal with his displeasure with the NFL Owners.

The incoming rookies are being asked to side with a group of players, who not even a week ago, were fighting to get their salaries cut. The owners wanted to put that money into a fund for veterans. The NFLPA said there was a lot wrong with the owner’s proposal- using rookie money to fund a pot of money for veteran players was not one of them.

The NFLPA has been clear that they are fighting for the players in this CBA battle.

But by asking rookies to skip the draft, they are doing the exact opposite.

33 thoughts on “NFLPA Out Of Line In Asking Rookies To Skip Draft

  1. I am not even sure why the NFL is intent of even holding the Draft..
    This event will turn into a real black-eye for the NFL… Players will not attend,
    some are even suiing the NFL about Rookie Scale Wages, I see nothing to be gained by holding a Draft until there is a new CBA… The NFL is naive to think that players/rookies that are in the Draft are not going to fall in line with the NFLPA directions and instructions since they will be joining that group
    Forget the Draft and concentrate on the CBA, everything outside of that is just a dog and pony show..

  2. Most of those draft prospects will someday become veterans. Would it be wise to have their “once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity” draft day or to have a better working atmosphere throughout their careers?

    Sorry, Eliot, you’re argument makes little sense. If the numbers of players who skip the draft is rising, it must not be as big a day to them as you make it out to be.

    If I were a draft prospect, I’d side with the players and do what was being asked of me so that I could improve the work environment down the road. The rookie wage scale is just and inevitable, so that makes little difference.

  3. I agree that the CBA should be the top priority right now for the NFL..but the Draft is still going to draw big numbers in ratings. I actually think it might draw the best ratings it ever has which is why the NFL is intent of holding it. My thinking is based by the fact that football fans have nothing else to look forward too so more and more people are going to watch the draft because its basically is the only football related function that people can count on this offseason. And on top of that all the negative developments that have happened in this past week has just gotten more pople to talk about the NFL. People want to see what is going to happen. Many top prospect players don’t show up every year anywhere and nobody really cares about it then. All people care about is who goes high and who their team selects anyway. But I still think the main focus should be the CBA.

  4. Either way bost sides on this absolutely disgust me. Its truly pathetic the way these grown men are acting on both sides and I could never feel any type of compassion for either of them when they can’t figure out a fair way to split 9 billion dollars when most of the people around the country are loosing their homes or can’t afford medicine for their loved ones and so on. I’m a die hard football fan and will always watch football but if there is no season next year there will be plenty of fans that will turn their back on this sport. Owners need the players that make the rich. Players need the owners that make them rich. Both of these fools need fans.

  5. I agree with the article. Everyone is talking about how the fans are going to suffer, yet the players don’t want rookies to show up to the draft. Way to look out for the fans. There’s nothing wrong with them being at the draft. They aren’t under any contract or with any union until they sign a contract so let them have their moment. Both the owners and players are greedy. The players drastically want the rookie salaries cut BUT don’t want that money put into a fund for retired players healthcare, they want the money themselves + wanting the owners to continue to pay for retired players healthcare. I’m not on anyone’s side because both sides are greedy. We can say what we want about the owners but they are the owners and will always making tons more money that the workers. That’s how it is in life. Should the players get more money? Yup but wanting to see the owners money in order to justify your greed is ridiculous. These players put their lives on the line each time they go out their and play BUT that was their choice to decide to play football professionally. How about giving some money to some people that actually put their lives on the line, you know policeman, firefighters, silly jobs like that. These players mismanage their money, beg teammates for loans and want more money. The owners raise ticket prices for losing teams, charge regular season prices for preseason games and they want more money. Personally, I don’t want to hear anything else about this until it’s over. Both sides are greedy and it’s sickening. We can argue all day over who more greedy but that would just be splitting hairs.

  6. pheags, I’m with you. Both sides are disgusting. Neither can make money without the other side. People don’t even have health care for their children and players want owners to pay for their health care 20 years after they already left the game. I wish I could leave my job and they continue to pay for my health care. These players make sacrifices that they are well aware of and want to be taken care of for the rest of their lives. How about managing your money right and you will be. And the owner know full well they need to share more money with the players. But both sides are truly disgusting and are ruining the sport for the fan, which they really don’t care about but it sounds good for PR.

  7. Scorp

    The owners want to cut rookie salaries even more than the owners. That’s why the Eagles traded out of the first round so many years.

  8. I dont think the players should tell these kids they shouldnt attend, This is gonna be the biggest day of their lives, A once in a lifetime event for them and their families, If the players really cared about us fans they would tell them to go, Just goes to show the players want to stick it to the owners so bad they overlooked what it would mean to these kids who arent even NFL players yet and and to us, Their will be football in 2011, cant figure why they want these kids to suffer.

  9. Scorp

    People who suffer mesothelioma are still suing former employers. No one’s worked around asbestos for 30 years. Why shouldn’t the players be afforded the same rights?

  10. drummer,

    Because asbestos is deadly and people didn’t know the exact affects of what would happen when working around it for a long time. Which is why it was built into houses. These players are well aware of the risks they take. In my opinion 2 totally different things. One group didn’t know what they were doing and the others do. Comparing the 2 to me is not a parallel… not in the slightest.

  11. Of course the owners wanted to cut down on the rookie scale. Who could blame them. The players did too. How do you or anyone else know who wanted to cut it more? I’m pretty sure the veteran players were just as willing to cut it down being as though they see rookies come in and makes tons more money than they do. They even agreed on the rookie wage scale before the lockout. So I don’t care who wanted that more, the point is they both wanted it.

  12. andrew p, exactly. They care about the fans as much as the owners do. They can give a rat’s ass what it means to the college player and the fans. They are now forcing those players to choose a side which is totally unfair to a 21-22 year old who doesn’t even know what the hell is going on. And not to mention the fans that actually live and breath football. But yet they all point out it’s the fans that suffer? Ok, but you want to add to that. They are all hypocrites and disgusting.

  13. This is petty and unfair to put this kind of pressure on these college players, but totally in line with how selfish the players are. These kids aren’t even in the Union, but the NFLPA is trying to strong arm them and make them a pawn. They have earned their way to this day. The NFLPA doesn’t give a damn about these young men.

    And honestly, how could any vet hold this against them? They aren’t playing in any games yet, so it is not the same as crossing the line. Just shows how petty they actually are.

    I don’t see how the NFL could cancel the NFL draft. It is not like they are spending any less time working on the CBA because of the draft, so why would they stop. The fact is is that the draft is necessary even given the fact that it could be picketed and players could skip the event. If this event goes south, then it will make the players look just as bad as the owners. Probably worse in the mind of the public, because they will be letting their conflict adversely affect new college grads. This is already a black eye for the players asking the college players to boycott, but they are going for a busted nose too.

  14. I only mentioned the rookie scale because people act as if the owners made some sort of concession on behalf of the players.

    If I’m an undrafted rookie, I’d be concerned with a better working environment down the line. They’ve become more aware that players are dying early. They also know that MOST players are NOT millionaires and their careers last only 3 years. Smart money is on getting long-term security, not a one-day flash. Besides, they’ll have their moment in the limelight.

  15. busgy, I agree with you. It doesn’t make the players look any better. It makes them look more selfish than we already know they are. They are already winning the PR battle but this really doesn’t help. Using the kids that aren’t even in the league yet as a pawn to get what you want. Having the draft has nothing to do with getting a new CBA. It’s not fair to put college kids in that position and I don’t care what anyone says.

  16. Drummer, I hear you but I don’t see how attending the draft affects the “working environment down the line”. We see every year a rookie hold out because he’s not getting the offer he thinks he deserves. So immediately it becomes player vs team. I don’t see any reason why a player cannot attend the draft and still be on the players side. The draft is just as an important event for the player as it is for the league.

  17. How silly and petty is it to ask future players to side with the players? I suppose it’s not more petty to ask Drew Brees and the other well-paid players to side with the majority, who aren’t.

  18. drummer we can say that they didn’t make a concession for the players but honestly do you think if they cut the rookie wage scale, they players would agree to do so UNLESS that extra money benefited them somehow? The players would not agree for owners to not pay rookies and at the same time not do something else for the money. That would just be dumb and pointless. I’d rather the rookies keep the money that allow the owners to keep it.

    As reported last week, the agreement would have made additional money available to veteran players by raising the salary floor and putting a portion of the money away for current players. So it wasn’t like the owners go to pocket the rookie salary, they have to also reallocate it therefore that would assume this is something the players also pushed for.

  19. drummer, they can still side with the players and attend the draft. The draft is just a show. it doesn’t show any type of allegiance to either side. I’m not going to argue with you because you seem to the think the players are golden and everything they want is reasonable. That’s your opinion and I get that but I personally see the problems with both sides and definitely do not think everything either side do is correct or in the best interests of the rookies and fans.

  20. Scorp

    The rookie wage scale is to prevent veteran players from being cut.

    I don’t think the players are golden. I don’t think anyone is golden. However, I recognize the barbarity of the sport. Many fans relate NFL football to high school and even college football. But in reality, these are the biggest and fastest athletes on the planet, who are pushed to their very limits – not only in the games but year around. In what other sport has anyone died from heat exhaustion? In what sport do players die 20-30 years before their prime? Would Reggie White have died were he not a pro football player? I speculate that he wouldn’t.

    When you throw billions of dollars into the mix, the violence only escalates. This is nothing short of a gladiator sport played the best athletes in the world. That fans invest so much time, energy, emotion and money into it, only attests to its uniqueness. I enjoy the players, not the owners.

    I’ve heard about Lurie investing his personal money. Well so, did the fans and the municipalities throughout the NFL. It was a no-lose investment for Lurie because of the CBA. Even if Lurie had made less money, he could have moved the team to a more viable venue. Look at the Colts. I wouldn’t pay a dime to see Lurie play football. He’s not the attraction. The players are.

  21. Drummer, it’s cool bro. I understand where you are coming from but I don’t agree with everything the players want and I certainly don’t agree with everything the owners want. In my opinion, both sides are greedy. People can argue over who’s right and wrong. But I really don’t care. I am in no position to say what’s a win-win situation for Jeff Lurie or any other owner or player. But what I do see are a bunch of people that want everything but don’t want to give up anything both owners and players.

  22. A show of solidarity does what for who? I understand your point but you minimize the importance of the draft to the players. For instance, it’s easy for rookies to not care much about some of the issues that the players care about because they haven’t experiences and at the same time it’s easy for players to tell rookies to not show up because they already had their day. Solidarity or not, I don’t think it’s fair to put anyone in that position especially a group of 20 year olds. That’s just my thoughts on it and that won’t change.

  23. Yahoo has a article that expresses exactly how I feel. Only people that would be hurt by this are the young players and fans. It doesn’t hurt the NFL in the least bit.

  24. Palman-“Forget the Draft and concentrate on the CBA”

    if the non union union would sit down id agree to that but they wont.

    BTW- anyone read how the retired players are pissed at the current group for not having a voice? Real classy.

  25. Stevo, yeah I read that too. In 1993 the NFLPA w Gene Upshaw could have gotten more money to go towards retired players and medical expenses. What happened? They rejected it so they could get more money for current players because the owners were not going to do both. Both the owners and players want to act like they have fans, past players best interest when they just are worrying about themselves.

  26. I heard that Bass- Pro Shops are starting a Fall League with Fishing Tounranments from around NFL Cities which will be televised on
    FOX Network if no Football.. They will pair up a Professional Fishermen with a Celebrity.. My sources even told me the G-Man and Jaws are probably the
    Philly Celbrities to fish on the Schykill and Wissahickon Rivers… Good Grief..

  27. bugsy – how do you think slaves would like to hear that coming from a millionaire who doesn’t work year round and PLAYS a GAME for a living? Not saying the players shouldn’t get paid fairly, but that comment shows how out-of-tocuh with reality some of the players are.

  28. LOL, it won’t affect the NFL if the rookies don’t show up. There are only about 15 rookies that show up every year, yet there are 32 picks from rounds 1-3 and even more for rounds 4-7. People don’t watch the draft for the 15 players that show up. LOL at the NFLPA and their greedy idiocy and trying to take a special moment away from the young players. Yeah, they really care about the players. Being drafted is almost as important as winning the SB if not more important. Maybe the veterans that won SBs should give their rings back. That has about as much affect as the rookies not showing up to the draft.

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