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NFLPA* merely “recommends” that rookies don’t attend draft

NFL Draft Football

On Monday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the NFLPA* plans to instruct incoming rookies invited to Radio City Music Hall to not attend the 2011 NFL draft.

In the wake of sharp criticism from the media and the public, the NFLPA* has clarified its position.  It’s not an order, it’s a recommendation.

As we pointed out yesterday, it can’t be an order.  Even if the NFLPA* were still the NFLPA, the incoming rookies aren’t members of the union until they’re drafted.  And even if the NFLPA* were still the NFLPA and the NFLPA tried to tell the rookies to leave the venue the instant their names are called, the NFLPA never had the authority to impose such demands on the free will of its membership.

Apparently, the NFLPA* has plans for an alternative draft event in Midtown Manhattan.  Schefter’s updated report explains that the NFLPA* intends to give the drafted players “the same experience down the street.”  So look for the NFLPA* to rent out a large room at, say, the Marriot Marquis for its own version of the draft, during which NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith would supplant Commissioner Roger Goodell as the purveyor of the man hugs.

Speaking of the man hugs, agent Drew Rosenhaus made a compelling point Monday night on Twitter.  “The NFL Draft is an incredibly popular event but the players being drafted are locked out, too,” Rosenhaus said.  “The players may be in New York but I can’t see how they can be on TV and give a big hug to a person that is partly responsible for not letting them play.”

The NFL intends to proceed with its usual approach.  “We plan to invite the 15-20 top prospects and their families to New York as we normally do for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.  And, as always, it is the decision of the players and their families as to whether they attend,” league spokesman Greg Aiello told Schefter.

Either way, things will get very interesting on April 28.  Look for high-profile players to picket outside Radio City Music Hall, followed by a parade to the place where the alternative event conducted by the NFLPA* will be held.

And Rosenthal and I will be in the middle of it all, with Chad Ochocinco undoubtedly vowing once again to whoop our asses.

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70 Responses to “NFLPA* merely “recommends” that rookies don’t attend draft”
  1. chapnastier says: Mar 15, 2011 7:14 AM

    Will this effort by the NFLPA* help the owners use the “sham” argument? I mean it is clear as day that with them still acting as an organization that this decertification is nothing but a sham.

  2. tomcous says: Mar 15, 2011 7:19 AM

    Millions of Dollars wasted already …

    Both sides need a TimeOut! … then get back to work and find the middle ground.

  3. writtenbyross says: Mar 15, 2011 7:26 AM

    It’s not right for the NFLPA to try to take away that moment for these kids. They’ve worked hard to get to this transition it’s shouldn’t be overshadowed by the greed of the two fueding parties. All of the current NFLPA had a chance to enjoy their drafts, don’t take it away from these guys.

  4. joetoronto says: Mar 15, 2011 7:29 AM

    “NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith would supplant Commissioner Roger Goodell as the purveyor of the man hugs.”

    Can’t you just see that, with that pimp suit and hat on?

  5. tv426 says: Mar 15, 2011 7:32 AM

    They better reverse this and tell these kids and their families that they SHOULD go and enjoy a once in a lifetime moment.

  6. sandibalz says: Mar 15, 2011 7:33 AM

    Herm Edwards spit some fire yesterday on this. He said the NFLPA is dead wrong in asking these kids to give up an opportunity they’ve been working their whole lives for. Dead wrong for asking these kids to give up an experience for them and their families that they can’t ever get back.

  7. gtmann says: Mar 15, 2011 7:35 AM

    I agree with chapnastier . How can a “union” that is no longer a union tell these kids not to attend the draft ? They are not, and never have been members of the “union” .

    These kids have been working their butts off their entire lives hoping to one day hear their names called on that stage ! Hall can you take that experience away from them ? And if you do, will they ever trust the “union” again” ?

  8. chatham10 says: Mar 15, 2011 7:37 AM

    I see they can backtrack as fast as anybody and that should make Adam mad as this makes him look foolish again. I can’t believe you quote ego agent Drew Rosenhaus an agent, lawyer and went to Duke, need I say more. Drew is a lot smarter then I am but these players are not NFL Players till they sign a contract.

  9. bonniebengal says: Mar 15, 2011 7:38 AM

    How could the NFLPA be recommending anything or holding events? Didn’t they decertify? Doesn’t that mean the don’t have any members anymore?

  10. jc1958cool says: Mar 15, 2011 7:39 AM

    so it’s ok to lift the lockout for 3 days to have the draft, then continue the lockout? you owner lovers are retards! turd roger pinnochio makes the rules as they go along!!

  11. PCa Survivor says: Mar 15, 2011 7:41 AM

    The decertified NFLPA, still trying to act as a union (sham), is trying to convince top round picks to stay away from the draft while at the same time apparently agreeing to a rookie wage scale on their behalf. Which is it De? Oh, I get it. Both ways. Throw them under the bus in your negotiations but ask them to stick by you. This is laughable.

  12. basexc9 says: Mar 15, 2011 7:41 AM

    Oh my God, they sound like 8th grade girls refusing to go to a friends party.

  13. mpisano10 says: Mar 15, 2011 7:42 AM

    How can high profile players picket? I can’t imagine seeing a guy making over $10 million a year in playing football plus endorsement deals(because of the opportunity the NFL gave him) outside picketing on national TV. Maybe the players need to remember what it was like playing in the Jim Brown era. They were far more wreckless and had very little “safety issues”, and when football was over they had to go get a real job to support their families. They didn’t have the luxury of making millions and millions… and then complain about more money.

  14. wryly1 says: Mar 15, 2011 7:45 AM

    I luv it! Let the owners walk out on stage after their pick, embrace Goodell, and hold up a number 1 jersey in front of themselves for the cameras and fans.

  15. Kave Krew says: Mar 15, 2011 7:50 AM

    I just want to know who my team drafts.

    The other fluff can disappear for a year……

  16. angrycorgi says: Mar 15, 2011 7:54 AM

    “Even if the NFLPA* were still the NFLPA, the incoming rookies aren’t members of the union until they’re drafted.”

    Which makes Von Miller’s inclusion in the Brady suit even more ignorant…

  17. trimgod69 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:02 AM

    how can the NFLPA asked coolege kids not to attend the draft when there is no union anymore?
    didn’t the union decertify, meaning there is no union

  18. Matt-NC says: Mar 15, 2011 8:06 AM

    Time for the players that just want to play to start a new union and give the boot to power-grabbing NFLPA.

  19. vomitingliberals says: Mar 15, 2011 8:07 AM

    No middle ground to find. The players are wrong. Period. Saying both sides are at fault is a cop out. That’s taking the politically correct route. The players are bankrupting this league. Name one business that pays out 60 cents on each dollar to it’s employees before taking into consideration operational costs (overhead). This just doesn’t happen in the real world. When some players make more money than an NFL Franchise does in a year (see Green Bay Packers books), you’ve got a recipe for financial disaster down the road. If you care about the long-term survivability of the NFL and/or your favorite team, then you must recognize that the players are going to leave franchises broke…

  20. bigbluefan1 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:09 AM

    This goes to show what a bunch of aholes the union is

    These young men have worked there whole life for this event

    Having your name called in Radio City walking out and being handed that #1 Jersey that is what every young player dreams of his moment in the sun the sign that he has made his dream come true.

    And lets not forget the parents of these men the moms and dads who spent 1000′s of hours waiting for a pratice to end and gave up nights and weekends to ferry the player to games and other team events. Dealing with idiot HS coaches that were only in it for a check.

    But the union says no do not live the dream
    Note this is the same union that is going to lower your pay.
    Stand up young men show and be seen it is an honor and only comes around once

  21. kotapug says: Mar 15, 2011 8:12 AM

    This is turning into a joke and Im getting sick of hearing about it. When this rich babies get a deal done let me know.

  22. jimr10 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:13 AM

    The players keep on making asses of themselves.

  23. sabeybaby says: Mar 15, 2011 8:23 AM

    Except for the families of the drafted players and the networks, does anone really care if the players are in attendance? If you’ve heard one draft interview, you’ve heard them all. I remember back when no players attended the draft and it worked just fine. Guys like Brady Quinn who had to wait in the green room forever probably wish the Union recommended they not show up in 2007. Much ado about nothing.

  24. dolfan34 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:23 AM

    This is a RIDICULOUS idea by the NFLPA. They really need to re-think this one. You’re going to rain on the parade of bunch of College kids and steal their spotlight. Does the NFLPA not realize that these kids will benefit hugely from this experience and the National attention it gets. And to make what point exactly? It’s a short-sighted and immature ploy by the NFLPA and I’m not sure what point it makes. It makes them look small. As a goodwill gesture to the NFL and the kids, let the show go own as before. Cut the picketting idea and let these guys enjoy the day. If you want to show your ‘partners’ with the NFL, start with this small gesture.

  25. chapnastier says: Mar 15, 2011 8:24 AM

    @ jc

    The owners are locking out union employees not rookies who cannot be members of the union since it no longer exists. I personally would like to see the NFL hold a draft of all college, CFL, AFL and even semi-pro players and create all new teams made up of either non-union workers or of a new union that would agree to what the owners propose. Imagine how interesting the year would be if all the teams started off fresh and on an equal playing field!

  26. sterling7 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:33 AM

    Who really cares if the players show up? You’re (we fans) only interested in the player(s) your team drafts. If there is no settlement by draft day then teams that need a quarterback will have to draft a quarterback because they can’t pick up one through free agency. That will definitely shake up the draft order considerably in terms of who gets picked to go where. As far as the players staying home, well stay home. Players should see us little people who make little money for a living-they’d be back to work yesterday!

  27. toe4 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:34 AM

    I was very pro-player until this draft stunt came up. Locked out union workers picket in order to draw attention to their cause and the evil company.

    The players do not need to do that there is quite enough attention as it is.

    Very thumbs down to the players for these stunts.
    Equal thumbs down to the owners for repeatedly being jerks about the whole thing.

    Both of you stink like garbage and every day has found me growing less interested and more angry about the whole thing.

    There is no way I’ll be able to keep this level of anger until July so the question is while my anger drift away to resignation or to apathy? I’m betting apathy.

  28. pooflingingmonkey says: Mar 15, 2011 8:35 AM

    @chapnastier

    I agree, but just don’t say anything about boycotting the first week of the next NFL, lest your comment be censored.

  29. waldoampere says: Mar 15, 2011 8:36 AM

    “Both sides need a TimeOut!”

    Don’t put Jim Caldwell in charge of calling the time out because he’ll just screw it up.

  30. Kaz says: Mar 15, 2011 8:45 AM

    The players are losing the fans and don’t even know it. More and more support is flocking to the Owners.

  31. toe4 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:46 AM

    Draft Falco!

  32. toe4 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:47 AM

    waldoampere,

    I laughed so hard I snorted coffee out of my nose!

  33. turgidsen says: Mar 15, 2011 8:47 AM

    Hello, Im Demaurice Smith and I am no longer important so I will whine until someone listens to me and then when that doesn’t happens I’m going to show you and take all of my toys home so you can’t play with them anymore.

  34. scudbot says: Mar 15, 2011 8:50 AM

    Half the stuff I try to post here gets censored.

  35. mackie66 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:54 AM

    This is to funny for words. The NFLPA, who decertified to keep the players unlocked out,,(lol) are advising the college players not to attend the NFL draft, which is the biggest day of their young lives. Who is the more important person(s) in this drama ? The NFL ? The NFLPA ? The Fans ? Well, Im boycotting the draft. Wont watch it, dont care if theres nothing else on TV. Id rather watch a baseball game. This work stoppage minni drama is wandered into the “stupid zone” and Im not watching.

  36. orbearider66 says: Mar 15, 2011 8:54 AM

    Okay, maybe this is my own ignorance of this whole situation but, aren’t the owners eventually going to claim to a judge that decertification is just a sham by the union? If that’s the case, I’d think that the actions the entity formerly known as the NFLPA is just bolstering that argument by telling (and then just advising) non-members as to what they have to do.

    @joetoronto … I noticed those hats too. Every time I see him, he’s got a hat on that is pimpier than the last one. I’m just waiting for him to show up with a long feather sticking out of the side.

  37. noaxetogrind says: Mar 15, 2011 8:55 AM

    Like most, started off neutral. The events of the last week make it easy to see why the players are the players and the owners are the owners. The owners have made numerous concessions over the past 10 days, the players, no concesions of substance and in fact have dialed up the rhetoric. The longer this goes on the more apparent it is becoming that the “union” “non-union” NFLPA is leaderless.

  38. dolphan343 says: Mar 15, 2011 9:24 AM

    Rosenhaus said. “The players may be in New York but I can’t see how they can be on TV and give a big hug to a person that is partly responsible for not letting them play.”

    So its better for them to go and give a hug to the other party who is at least as responsible for not letting them play. Am I missing some crucial piece of logic here?

  39. pistolsmoke says: Mar 15, 2011 9:27 AM

    NFLPA: Rookies, we are going to limit how much money you make this year, and good chance you won’t be paid at all next year. So could you do us a favor and boycott your dream of being introduced into the NFL? Please??

  40. tacoslinger619 says: Mar 15, 2011 9:28 AM

    START SCHEDULING NCAA GAMES ON SUNDAYS………LETS THE RICH SOBS FIGHT FOR A REAL JOB LIKE THE REST OF US!!!!!

  41. realitypolice says: Mar 15, 2011 9:35 AM

    This was a huge PR blunder by the NFLPA*. Up until this point, they had done a fairly decent job of not completely alienating the fan base. But this was just stupid.

    That being said, I would be happy if the players didn’t go. The clumsy interactions with the commish and dreary awkward player interviews with ESPN’s talking head of the day are the worst parts of the drafts anyway.

  42. chatham10 says: Mar 15, 2011 9:37 AM

    Mike & Mike made a great point this morning, they said ” the union is recommending that they do not attend” which they think is wrong but they said ” if they do attend and when the CBA is signed that these guys will have to be in the same locker room with the union guys who told them not to attend”. They are not scabs but could be treated like one. The NFL should not invite them and just think of the money they would save and also take the pressure off these guys.

  43. 3octaveFart says: Mar 15, 2011 9:40 AM

    Brilliant idea!
    What better way to launch a career in this economy than by skipping out on on your first day of work…?

  44. angrycorgi says: Mar 15, 2011 9:40 AM

    The players are spoiled. This morning on Sirius, they were saying “they are asking us to take a 20% pay cut”, which is untrue. They also neglect to mention the annual 15% pay increase they’ve had for the past 4 years, almost doubling everyone’s pay. I don’t know about you guys, but the economy has caused my employer to essentially freeze salaries for 2 years…during that time, the average NFL player salary increased by >32%. These guys are living in a fantasy world, if you ask me.

  45. edion1473 says: Mar 15, 2011 9:52 AM

    Here’s a thought : Maybe if no one showed up for the draft, or tuned in to watch it these people would understand who has the power to make football extinct. The fans. I mean, it’s not like we can’t look on Profootballtalk.com to find out the draft results anyways. I think it’s time the fans got a voice, and by not paying attention to either side would be a good start. It would be akin to letting a two year old throw a temper tantrum, and walking away and ignoring it. Eventually the child will realize that the temper gets them no where.

  46. thefiesty1 says: Mar 15, 2011 10:01 AM

    I recommend that the NFLPA just shut the hell up!

  47. hedphurst says: Mar 15, 2011 10:01 AM

    Can the NFLPA also “recommend” that current players refrain from tweeting about their shiny new kicks, cars, versions, clothes, etc, while they’re “laid off?”

  48. mrznyc says: Mar 15, 2011 10:02 AM

    Way back when, greed killed boxing – Don’t think it can’t kill other sports as well.

  49. easyeddie says: Mar 15, 2011 10:05 AM

    I agree with realitypolice:
    Mar 15, 2011 9:35 AM
    “This was a huge PR blunder by the NFLPA*. ”

    I would add that they’ve blundered their way through the entire process, so far.

  50. angrycorgi says: Mar 15, 2011 10:12 AM

    Funny how nobody has mentioned the hiring of DeMoron Smith in the first place. It’s well known that the players hired him BECAUSE they wanted it to make it court LONG ago. Now they got their wish. This isn’t just D’s fault. The players WANTED this outcome. Think about that a few times before you say “D-Smith is ruining this”. If I go buy a gun and shoot someone, not many people will try to put the gun on trial.

  51. jw731 says: Mar 15, 2011 10:20 AM

    Something just seems wrong about D Smith treating players like children who’s parents are getting divorced, and having a custody battle….Will it effect the Union if they attend what is a once in a life time experience?

  52. vetdana says: Mar 15, 2011 10:48 AM

    This is DEAD WRONG !…and public sentiment is going AGAINST the NFLPA !! This whole thing has a real stink to it and the fans are losing any respect they had for players and owners that is going to be felt with a decrease in financial support !!

  53. fngs1 says: Mar 15, 2011 10:50 AM

    Maybe the College kids should sue the NFLPA*, like Brady-Manning-Bree’s are sue the NFL for not allowing them to work.

  54. elgatowis says: Mar 15, 2011 10:57 AM

    Seriously DeMO is the problem, you hire a LITIGATOR to lead your Negotiations you get LITITGATION!!!! Jesus who did not see that coming. The NFLPA is greedy, and tell Drew breeze to shut his mouth, he is making it worse. They look terrible in this. the NFL Owners are the OWNERS, Do they not deserve to make more than their top player in Profit? It really is ridiculous when a team has less profit that 2 or 3 of its players for the season..

    What is with DeMo’s face he is hard to look at… Am I the only one who sees this, am I taking crazy pills!!!

  55. jagmania65 says: Mar 15, 2011 10:57 AM

    If you are the top pick in the draft, you have two choices now: get a sweaty man hug from Roger Goodell in front of a national TV audience, or get a sweaty man hug from De Smith in front of, well, no TV coverage at all. Your choice!

  56. gilgafresh says: Mar 15, 2011 11:01 AM

    All anybody has to do to figure out which side is winning the PR battle (and thus which side the fans are on) is to visit this site, take note of the comments, and see which direction most of the thumbs are pointing.

    Despite the best attempts by the purveyors of this site and the former players with a voice to sway the public to the players’ side it’s become very obvious that this isn’t as polarizing as many think it is or should be. In fact, it isn’t even close.

    151-8? 102-3? My word…

    (NFLPA* and players, I’m talking to YOU)

  57. thebigolddog says: Mar 15, 2011 11:01 AM

    The people driving the NFLPA bus are all malcontents. They were carefully chosen by De Smith for that reason. Just listen to them. They are all talking enough and have no desire to hide the truth because, as I said, they all have a hair across their buttocks when it comes to the NFL. De Smith and his carefully chosen gang have no desire to settle this until De Smith has gained power and fame. Playing the role of Commissioner at his own competing draft event is proof enough of his true intentions.

    baring unforeseen events, it is now up to the Owners to suck it up as long as possible until the vast majority of happy NFL players revolt against De Smith and his Gang’s personal agendas.

  58. dchuwo says: Mar 15, 2011 11:12 AM

    If I’m Goodell and the owners, I look into canceling the draft. Public sentiment is shifting in favor of the NFL big time in light of the NFLPA’s sham decertification and apparent refusal to negotiate further. NFL has done a much better PR job lately and Smith and players better realize this. They are counting on the popularity of the game but that will last only so long. Anyone reading this, just remember, the ones with the power here are us fans. If WE don’t buy tickets, jerseys, etc. and don’t watch these games, there is no league. We’ve fed the beast and created the monster so we can’t complain now unless we are prepared to act. Again, I say keep the players locked out. When the pay checks stop coming, and there’s no free agency signing bonuses, etc., you will start hearing rumblings.

  59. FinFan68 says: Mar 15, 2011 11:13 AM

    If there is no union and the draft happens, couldn’t the teams sign some sort of temporary contract with the draftees so they can get them started on learning the offensive/defensive schemes? With no union it seems to me that the league would be allowed to have contact with the new kids.

  60. dfinpds says: Mar 15, 2011 11:15 AM

    This is getting absolutely rediculous. Greedy owners, greedy players, greedy agents……..Have you people no shame? Pathetic.pathetic.pathetic……

  61. thestrategyexpert says: Mar 15, 2011 11:30 AM

    Again, this article has misleading terminology. First it was “they were informed not to go” which doesn’t make any logical sense. Now you are saying that it “cannot be an order”, that’s bologna. The NFLPA certainly can and could very well have “ordered” the players not to go. You don’t have to have authority and legal right to issue orders, anybody can issue orders, but if you don’t have authority or a right to issue orders, then that just means that those you issue orders to are not obligated to follow. And if they “were issuing orders”, then that shows a posturing of which is the important element of the story. So don’t say they “can’t order” them, cause they certainly can and could have, and we need to know if they did, because that’s important. But either way, they certainly can order anybody they want to do anything they want. It’s their God-given free will to make any dumbass mistakes of their choosing, and “issuing orders” applies. I thought you had a lawyer’s background? Or did you scrap your roots once you hit the football limelight like every other football guy on TV? It makes you lose credibility, and every day I’m seeing articles on here that are sloppy and unprofessional, c’mon PFT, step up your game and please get some quality writers on staff!

  62. Cowboys-Forum says: Mar 15, 2011 11:40 AM

    The NFLPA has nothing to do with these kids until after they sign their contracts, so they should just mind their own business until then.

  63. radrntn says: Mar 15, 2011 11:50 AM

    these guys are boneheads

  64. radrntn says: Mar 15, 2011 11:52 AM

    ever since I was a kid I dreamed of the day I would be drafted, walking on the stage and getting hugged by DeMaurice Smith….lmao

  65. burntorangehorn says: Mar 15, 2011 11:56 AM

    Hey young lady, instead of having your dad walk you down the aisle to give you away, saying your vows, and kissing your new spouse in front of all your friends and family, why don’t you and your fiance skip the wedding and exchange vows by yourselves at another venue down the street?

  66. opieterp says: Mar 15, 2011 12:04 PM

    The NFLPA is a walking public relations disaster. They should be garnering most of the support but they are alienating the fan base every day.

  67. mefolts says: Mar 15, 2011 12:05 PM

    This is a classic example of the union “holding a gun ” to the heads of new players. “we aren’t telling you can’t go. We just “suggest” that you not go.” Which means that new players that go to NYC will be looked down upon and new players that don’t attend will be lauded for their support. Unions are the reason your American car companies are struggling. They are the reason your school taxes are out of control. Everyone knows of someone who should be fired due to incompetance, but they are spared because of the unions. UNIONS SUCK!

  68. mofrombk says: Mar 15, 2011 12:46 PM

    From the original article: “The NFL Players Association is putting into place a plan that would prevent each top college prospect from attending next month’s draft in New York, according to multiple league sources.”

    “League sources” implies the NFL. The NFL acts on the owners’ behalf. Therefore this propaganda is actually coming from the owners, who are locking out the players, not the NFLPA or NFLPA*.

  69. burntorangehorn says: Mar 15, 2011 1:13 PM

    This would be much more interesting if the union were to organize pickets at the draft and other such events. Watching Matt Birk lumber hither and thither with a bullhorn and picket sign would be gold.

  70. orbearider66 says: Mar 15, 2011 2:25 PM

    Dear NFLPA*

    Thanks for the invitation to your alternative draft party. Not only are you not content with negotiating your way into a rookie salary cap that could cost me millions, but now you want me to miss out on the event that I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid.

    It’s your leadership skills that steered the Titanic into the iceberg.

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