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Rookies who attend the draft should point to veterans who appear on NFL Network

NFL Lockout Looms As Negotiations Reach Final Day Getty Images

The NFLPA* has implemented a passive-aggressive strategy for persuading rookies invited to the 2011 NFL draft to not attend.  Though not calling for a boycott, the players’ trade association wants the men who receive an invitation to realize that they will be attending an event hosted by the entity that is locking all players out.

As former NFL players and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, who knows a thing or two about the dynamics of a football team, recently wrote in urging players to stay away, “I would hate to be a rookie walking into a locker room if the last image veterans have of him is his shaking hands with the very man who canceled the health insurance for veterans’ families.”

It’s a great point.  No matter how many times men like NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith claim that there will be no repercussions if rookies attend, the reality is that, yes, some teammates will take a dim view of a new arrival who supported a draft occurring during a lockout.  On the field and before (or after) the whistle, some opposing players may feel the same way.

So what’s an incoming rookie to do?  Our advice would be to watch the broadcast operation owned by the NFL and take notes as to the current players who accept invitations to appear on screen.

On Tuesday, Browns receiver Josh Cribbs appeared via satellite.  On Wednesday, Pats tight end Rob Gronkowki appeared in studio.  On Monday, March 28, and Tuesday, March 29, Colts center Jeff Saturday — who has participated in the negotiations between the NFL and the players — will work as a guest analyst on NFL Network.  Also appearing on March 29 will be 49ers tackle Anthony Davis.

There’s no difference, in our view, between veteran players showing up at the NFL Network studio and incoming players showing up at Radio City Music Hall.  The entity that is locking out the players owns NFL Network.  Even if guys like Saturday take advantage of the platform to push the players’ position in the work stoppage, the fact remains that guys like Saturday are supporting a property of the NFL by showing up at NFL Network.

We’re not suggesting that Saturday or any other veteran should decline to appear on NFLN.  Our point is that rookies invited to attend the draft should accept, and they should show up on the first day of work (whenever that may happen) with a complete list of all veteran players who said “yes” when the NFL offered them a chance to be on TV.

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64 Responses to “Rookies who attend the draft should point to veterans who appear on NFL Network”
  1. broncobeta says: Mar 24, 2011 7:50 AM

    “I would hate to be a rookie walking into a locker room if the last image veterans have of him is his shaking hands with the very man who canceled the health insurance for veterans’ families.”

    DeMaurice Smith is a rookie?

  2. samoanjungle says: Mar 24, 2011 7:52 AM

    Great point!
    They are being hypocrites.

  3. deanvernonwormer says: Mar 24, 2011 7:58 AM

    The whole thing is a farce.

    You idiots (players and owners) sit down and hammer something out.

    And Dez Bryant pull your pants up.

  4. skoobyfl says: Mar 24, 2011 8:03 AM

    It seems a little selfish of the current players to talk out of both sides of their mouths. Peyton Manning has Directv commercials running 24 / 7, representing the NFL. Many of the players have different local / national advertising contracts representing the sport & even get free cars to drive as well.

    As soon as all current NFL players stop performing for the league on TV, Radio & advertising the sport that makes them recognizable, then the draftees should avoid the draft TV shots of joy. That’s not going to happen & these guys need to stop trying to turn the wheels that pay them so much money.

  5. Kave Krew says: Mar 24, 2011 8:04 AM

    ….just have the rookies @ Radio City give a shout out to the NFLPA while on stage with the commish to show support.

    That will be as equal to Jeff Saturday’s appearance.

  6. thetechnocrat says: Mar 24, 2011 8:04 AM

    I’m so tired of Turdski and his only gripe. How many times can you hear him say, “You’re gonna walk up there and shake the hand of the guy that just locked you out.” Every time this subject has come up for debate, that’s his only offensive weapon. Can it! Everyone just sees you as a mouthpiece for the “trade organization.”

    Damn right I would go and shake his hand. The rookies shouldn’t let a defunct union tell them anything. Tell Turdski and all the other browbeating ex NFLers to shove it. They never sign contracts until the they absolutely have to anyway if they are first rounders. He acts like football fans are stupid and don’t know that.

    That former eagles db who lost out the head of the union should start his own players association and take the deal offered. I seriously doubt that it’s gonna get much better.

  7. steelerer says: Mar 24, 2011 8:06 AM

    Ya right, they should just alienate themselves as many ways as possible.

    What they should do is make as little waves as possible and get through the whole ordeal quietly. It stinks that they have played all their lives to get to this moment and this has to be the situation, but there is no way around it. I dont think its a good idea for any of them to start pointing fingers before any of them even sign a contract.

  8. thetechnocrat says: Mar 24, 2011 8:08 AM

    p.s. all agents give loans to talent before they sign their contracts. the agents then collect their investment. how do you think they get those diamond rock earrings and snappy duds before they even sign a contract? no health insurance? welcome to America you spoiled mongoloid. down with all communist unions that cause more job loss than the economy. we can’t afford you any more.

  9. Patriot42 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:09 AM

    Maybe the best to do for both sides since they hate each other so much is to disband the league and see how that works for a bunch of jocks without football. Maybe they can hang around the high school football practices and brag about how they used to play pro ball and explain to the questions of why they don’t play anymore.

  10. 1standlong says: Mar 24, 2011 8:21 AM

    Great point.

    If a rookie wants to attend the draft, current players shouldn’t hate, especially if some of them are appearing on the NFL Network (which is worse in my opinion) . A Rookie’s attendance at the draft won’t have an impact on people tuning in anyways…we’re going to watch the draft either way.

  11. wryly1 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:21 AM

    Let’s get one thing cleared up. The players butter the owners bread, not the other way around.

  12. mightymightylafootball says: Mar 24, 2011 8:23 AM

    Am I to believe that a rookie will somehow suffer at the hands of his teammates for having participated in a ceremony held by the people who have just made his lifelong dream of being an NFL player come true?

    Ya know what? Boo-friggin’-hoo. Any teammate who dis’d me on day one for that could kiss my arse. You don’t wanna help me, Mr. “Veteran”? Fine. I’ll make it without you.

    We play. To win. The game. If you’re not gonna do EVERYTHING you can to help us do that (including helping me learn routes/blocking schemes/gap responsibilities/etc.), then you’re a sorry excuse for a teammate…labor relations be damned.

    Every day I listen to this union*, the more disgusted I get.

  13. chapnastier says: Mar 24, 2011 8:26 AM

    More evidence of the foolishness of the this organization, the NFLPA*. They are clearly not too bright but if I was a rookie, a grown man, and I walked into what was supposed to be a professional environment and some old man was giving me crap for doing the same thing that they had the chance to do, I would lose a lot of respect for him. The hypocrisy of these players is out of this world.

  14. conseannery says: Mar 24, 2011 8:26 AM

    As former NFL players and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, who knows a thing or two about the dynamics of a football team, recently wrote in urging players to stay away, “I would hate to be a rookie walking into a locker room if the last image veterans have of him is his shaking hands with the very man who canceled the health insurance for veterans’ families.”

    Yeah, Tedy, I’m sure Joe Sixpack from Des Moines who hasn’t worked in a year and is struggling to pay the COBRA bill for his family’s health insurance really finds a multi-millionaire athlete who now also has to pay health insurance a kindred spirit.

    These guys have no concept of reality, and it seems like every time they open their mouths they say something to reinforce why they’re losing the PR battle.

  15. maverick0 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:33 AM

    Thought PFT was not on one side or the other?

    “Our advice would be to watch the broadcast operation owned by the NFL and take notes as to the current players who accept invitations to appear on screen.”

    My feeling is that even if the players that do show up for the draft weekend event, this will all be forgotten once the two sides finally come to an agreement and get back to playing football. We’re not talking about a “scab” situation here…they would not be crossing some picket line.

  16. Canyonero says: Mar 24, 2011 8:34 AM

    I keep hearing how Demarcus Ware is going to knock some rookie’s block off if he attends the draft.

    Has Demarcus Ware actually ever said that?

    Good point in the article: each segment on NFLN is loaded with veteran & retired players. It’s not going to be just Rich Eisen doing the whole draft by himself.

  17. wryly1 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:40 AM

    How’s this for a hypocritical double-standard. Because of the lockout, current NFL prospect AJ Green couldn’t have any current or former NFL prospect throwing to him at his Pro Day, but the same team owners scouting him want current NFL prospects to show up at Radio City and kiss their behinds.

  18. tombradyswig says: Mar 24, 2011 8:48 AM

    “That former eagles db who lost out the head of the union should start his own players association and take the deal offered. I seriously doubt that it’s gonna get much better.”

    TROY VINCENT!!!!!!!

    FIRE DE SMITH AND HIRE TROY!!!!!!!

    DE ONLY CARES ABOUT ONE THING…. DE SMITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. realitypolice says: Mar 24, 2011 8:49 AM

    conseannery says:
    Mar 24, 2011 8:26 AM

    Yeah, Tedy, I’m sure Joe Sixpack from Des Moines who hasn’t worked in a year and is struggling to pay the COBRA bill for his family’s health insurance really finds a multi-millionaire athlete who now also has to pay health insurance a kindred spirit.
    ======================

    Why does everyone on here think that NFL Players care whether Joe Six Pack considers them a kindred spirit?

    Bruschi states a simple fact- Goodell canceled player insurance.

    He didn’t say “now all the players are struggling to pay their cobra just like Joe Six Pack”.

    It should be very obvious to fans by now the neither side cares one bit about the fans. And certainly neither side believes they have anything in common with fans.

    People on here keep making analogies between what is going in this dispute the their own lives.

    Stop it. There is no comparison. These people, like people in the movie industry, the music industry, and big time corporate America operate in their own universe.

    They couldn’t begin to comprehend what your life is like, nor would they care to.

    So you either accept that and continue to be a fan, or you walk away.

    Those are your choices. Sitting around waiting for these guys to start relating to you is not a choice- it’s a waste of time.

  20. leeweezy8 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:54 AM

    I think it is wrong to ask these guys not to attend the draft. This is something some of these guys have been waiting for for years. Think about the parents of these young kids. They would love to hear their kids name called out by the commissioner too. And besides, most of the veterans have had their time in the draft spot light. Don’t steal these kids joy, let them have their moment in the spot light. And any veteran that dislikes the notion, go back and watch the tape of when you were drafted. Look at the joy that moment brought to you and your family. Would you like someone to steal that milestone away from you?

  21. bowsi says: Mar 24, 2011 9:02 AM

    How can the NFL lock the players out on one hand and have them work for the leaque via another NFLN. I’m sure the judge will look at this when making his decision on the whole antitrust litigation.

  22. paul82461 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:04 AM

    The way I see it, a rookie gets 1 chance to be drafted. The other current players had there moment at radio city and celebrating with family. I wouldnt miss it especially if I went in the 1st round.

  23. broncobeta says: Mar 24, 2011 9:12 AM

    “I would hate to be a rookie walking into a locker room if the last image veterans have of him is his shaking hands with the very man who canceled the health insurance for veterans’ families.”

    DeMaurice Smith is a rookie?
    ———————————————–
    CORRECTION AFTER MORNING COFFEE!

    The rookies will be shaking hands with DeMaurice Smith?

  24. jnbnet says: Mar 24, 2011 9:13 AM

    Let them attend, and let them wear a hat that says, “No Lockout” or “NFLPA”, or whatever.
    They wear the hat out to the podium for everyone to see, where they exchange it with Mr. Goodell for their new team hat.

  25. joecoz17 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:16 AM

    This is one of the most exciting moments for these kids and the selfish NFLPA wants to use it as leverage. Unreal these guys

  26. mharenza says: Mar 24, 2011 9:19 AM

    Why is Ted Bruschi on TV? He is overwhelmingly the worst commentator for any sport. Furthermore, the players current and former are allowed to sign up for COBRA benefits. So actually, their insurances wasn’t cancelled unless they choose it to be. On a different note, I am just tired of all this. Both sides are greedy, but everyday the players look more and more out of touch.

  27. bigdinla says: Mar 24, 2011 9:20 AM

    The one fact ole Teddy is not mentioning in his ignorant little rant, is that the NFLPA could have used it’s money to pick up and continue the players insurance but chose not to! So being a hypocrite is not new to Teddy and DeMaurice.

  28. kellyb9 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:23 AM

    Before you get into a locker room in the NFL, you have to, you know, get drafted. So I wouldn’t bite that hand that will eventually feed by not showing up. Good job NFLPA* by putting incoming rookies in an awkward position. Remember, you are also the ones who want to make sure their payday is not as big as it used to be.

  29. dryzzt23 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:26 AM

    So the same players who cash the NFL network paychecks are the same ones who will rip these incoming rookies and the league in a heartbeat.

    It appears that the players believe that they can have things whatever way they want….and these are guys who are making tons of money in NFL salary, in endorsements, free meals and drinks, free clothes, shoes, etc from NFL-affiliated advertisers

    When will the media report this type of player hypocrisy?

  30. dolfandan1 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:34 AM

    Wasn’t the NFLPA* willing to institute a rookie wage scale, in effect reducing the amount of money that these exact rookies would be able to make? I’m all for a rookie wage scale, but it seems hypocritical to me to tell them “Hey, don’t hang with the guys that are cutting OUR health insurance, hang with US, even though we want to give your money to our vets.”

  31. thefiesty1 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:36 AM

    The veterans should attend and welcome the draftees into the fold. It would be more appropriate to shake the hand of a future teammate than the commissioner.

  32. dolphan343 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:41 AM

    Remember last year, Roy Williams told Bryant to carry his pads back as hazing. Bryant told him to shove it. Now these rooks are supposed to be intimidated? They should follow Bryants lead and go to draft and tell the pleyers giving them grief to shut up.

  33. sterling7 says: Mar 24, 2011 9:45 AM

    This whole thing is stupid. Don’t expect me to feel sorry for players who walk out on the kind of money they make and people (including myself) have lost their job(s) and have to scramble for basics like food and mortgage payments. I wish I wasn’t so crazy about football because I would tell both sides to go to hell!

  34. broncobourque says: Mar 24, 2011 9:48 AM

    Any veteran that would hold going to the draft against a rookie should grow up. Unfortunately, those same veterans probably wouldn’t take too kindly to a rookie pointing to other veterans appearing on NFL network as an excuse either.

    At the end of the day, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and anyone invited to the draft should go. Any backlash they might recieve will likely be minimal and might happen either way.

    Veterans should just let them go and not pressure them into not attending since the fans don’t care whether they attend or not. They aren’t gaining anything by pressuring rookies not to attend. If anything they are going to annoy a lot of fans who see this as petty and the only other thing this would do is rob the incoming rookies of their day in the spotlight.

  35. bhindenemylines says: Mar 24, 2011 9:55 AM

    Canyonero says:
    Mar 24, 2011 8:34 AM
    I keep hearing how Demarcus Ware is going to knock some rookie’s block off if he attends the draft.

    Has Demarcus Ware actually ever said that?

    ***************************************

    Would never happen. Anyone who has ever met or seen an interview with Demarcus would know this. He is the class of the league.

  36. jimphin says: Mar 24, 2011 9:56 AM

    At what point do the young rookies become a member of the Union….uh, er, trade association?

    As far as I am concerned, they are there on that day to represent their COLLEGE program that allowed them to get them to the NFL draft.

    They haven’t paid their 15 grand (or what is it now?) of union dues yet …so, they are certainly not full fledged trade association members because of the draft.

    They and their agent however, will be making lots of bucks when this temporary lockout concludes. The NFLPA does realize that the lockout is not forever…right?

  37. gridassassin says: Mar 24, 2011 9:57 AM

    Solid point – I think it’s VERY WRONG of De’Napoleon’ Smith to try to muscle this on kids that aren’t even members of his union …err… trade association.

    It’s bad enough they’re not going to make the same kind of coin as their predecessors. At least let them stand up on a stage and appear to be happy wearing a i.e. Cincinnati Bengals cap. It may be the last time they’re proud of being a Bengal.

  38. mightymightylafootball says: Mar 24, 2011 9:59 AM

    realitypolice says:

    Why does everyone on here think that NFL Players care whether Joe Six Pack considers them a kindred spirit?

    Bruschi states a simple fact- Goodell canceled player insurance.

    He didn’t say “now all the players are struggling to pay their cobra just like Joe Six Pack”.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*

    The problem is Bruschi’s inference (that inference being that players are ‘suffering’). Folks resent that, I think.

    But as always, realitypolice, you hit the nail on the head irt expecting players or owners to relate to fans. We’ll have about as much luck waiting on that to happen as we will becoming NFL players or owners ourselves. You do justice to your name, sir!

  39. jimphin says: Mar 24, 2011 10:04 AM

    Actually, this does reveal the NFLPA timeline. They fully expect the negotion process to remain in it’s current state through the draft. Insert Jerry Jones fist bump here.

    The young drafted rookie will be shaking hands with the man who will be initiating an experience of a lifetime.

    If bitter Vets can’t handle that…then perhaps they should consider a different sport…maybe synchronized swimming.

  40. aaawall91 says: Mar 24, 2011 10:18 AM

    What Joe Six pack is on COBRA for a year without a job?

  41. hystoracle says: Mar 24, 2011 10:21 AM

    The question I have that seems to be missed on the writer(s) of this blog is : If the NFLPA* believes they are going to win an injunction against the owners/lockout on April 6, then why have they even broached the subject of rookies attending the draft?

    If the lockout is lifted by an injunction then the subject is moot. Players play – draftees are drafted. The fact they bring it up so early is a sign NFLPA* think they will lose come April 6.

    I would hope they aren’t telling them not to attend because they believe the draft is “illegal”. That arguement could have ramifications through all the Major Sports (football, basketball, hockey, MLS). Also would kill a good sized source of TV revenue for the league. Draft is very popular and gets good ratings.

  42. basexc9 says: Mar 24, 2011 10:26 AM

    I’m sorry. What did these incoming rookies have to do with the lockout? NOTHING. Do the current players wish they could now go back in time and not attend the draft? Give me a break.

  43. realitypolice says: Mar 24, 2011 10:35 AM

    mightymightylafootball says:
    Mar 24, 2011 9:59 AM
    realitypolice says:

    The problem is Bruschi’s inference (that inference being that players are ‘suffering’). Folks resent that, I think.
    ===============

    Thanks for the compliment. I agree that in Bruschi’s mind he feels that the players are in fact “suffering”, and I can understand the resentment.

    Believe me, I am not defending the millionaires or the billionaires. I think both sides need to wake up.

    I just try not to take it personally. Because if you believe, as I do, that the owners and players don’t care much about the fans, the logical inference is that they aren’t doing anything expressly to hurt us, because we simply don’t register on their consciousness.

  44. hank10 says: Mar 24, 2011 10:40 AM

    Every day the NFLPA*, or the non-union union player’s association of clueless millionaires, looks more and more foolish and lacking any leadership.

  45. BernardPollardIsAnAss says: Mar 24, 2011 10:41 AM

    How about saying the incoming rookies should appear at the draft for the fans sake. We’d like to have at least one thing to be excited about while these bitchy players try to figure out how they should be over-paid for their no risk of investment services.

  46. lucky5927 says: Mar 24, 2011 10:56 AM

    I would hate to see a veteran player look down on young men for wanting to experience the same joys of walking on that stage as the vets onnce did. This hipocracy has trickled down from D. Smith to these players. Work for the NFL Network but look down on incoming rookies. Just sad… These veterans can hate the NFL all they like, but right now, D. Smith is not exactly making an effort either. On a side note, I am surprised the NFL Network is using current players as opposed to retired players or former coaches. Lord knows their is enough of them to go around.

  47. bigtrav425 says: Mar 24, 2011 11:04 AM

    Bruschi has some pretty big balls to even mention the health insurance issue with whats going on with america nowadays.I havnt had insurance in 2 yrs because i cant afford it but i also do not have a family like alot of people…..And why would you want ot be THAT guy to threaten someone of taking one of there boyhood dreams away on draft day…Bruschi you are officially a scumbag in my book

  48. endzonezombie says: Mar 24, 2011 11:12 AM

    It’s fairly obvious that many of the posters on this forum never played a down of football in their life. Lockerroom politics are more emotional than fair. There is no way to logically appeal to veterans in a lockerroom once you have pissed them off as a rookie/newcomer. Noone has a rookie’s back unless he shows respect for the veterans first. The team FO won’t hold it against a rookie for observing lockerroom politics by staying away from the Draft, but the fact is that some veterans may hold it against the rookie. Right or wrong, it’s just the way it is.

  49. stanklepoot says: Mar 24, 2011 11:15 AM

    I would hope they aren’t telling them not to attend because they believe the draft is “illegal”. That arguement could have ramifications through all the Major Sports (football, basketball, hockey, MLS). Also would kill a good sized source of TV revenue for the league. Draft is very popular and gets good ratings.
    ________________________
    Technically speaking, without an agreement between the players and the league, the draft would be in violation of anti-trust laws. Have you heard of any other industry in which the companies come together and decide which company is the only one a prospective employee can be employed by? Even the real draft requires an act of Congress to compel someone to work for the military. Having said that, the draft is an important tool for generating and preserving a competitive balance within the league, and it will certainly be a part of the next CBA. The upcoming draft was provided for in the now defunct CBA.

  50. mizzousooner says: Mar 24, 2011 11:27 AM

    “Remember last year, Roy Williams told Bryant to carry his pads back as hazing. Bryant told him to shove it. Now these rooks are supposed to be intimidated? They should follow Bryants lead and go to draft and tell the pleyers giving them grief to shut up.”

    Well, you gotta admit, it’s hard to carry another players shoulder pads when your pants are down around your knees.

  51. rayguyreturns says: Mar 24, 2011 11:41 AM

    “As former NFL players and current ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi, … “I would hate to be a rookie walking into a locker room if the last image veterans have of him is his shaking hands with the very man who canceled the health insurance for veterans’ families.”
    _____________________________________

    So Tedy, reach in your own fat wallet and pay for your own health insurance just like I’ve had to do since I can remember. And your rich buddies can do the same.
    Yeah, I’m crying for you and your team mates.

  52. nj22 says: Mar 24, 2011 11:42 AM

    Man, the NFLPA, cannot do any more than they are doing to look like the worst people on the planet! Between comparing themselves to slaves, to holding hands before games as if they are child workers in some third world country, De Smith comparing himself to people that marched for civil rights in the 60’s, and now let’s ruin a day that these kids have been dreaming about their whole lives by putting this ridiculous pressure on them. Picture this, you are a regular kid with a struggling family as most of the country is right now. You are about to get offered a job that will eventually when this nonsense is done, pay you enough to take care of the next 4 generations of your family and all you have to do is play a game, but hey I want you to give this new employer the finger because of some negotiations that are going on. I can’t stand these guys at this point.

  53. commentcentral says: Mar 24, 2011 11:46 AM

    The draftees could show up at the NFL event, but wear some kind of pretty ribbon to show solidarity with the union.

    Also Bruschi wasn’t making a point, he was making a threat.

  54. crubenst says: Mar 24, 2011 12:02 PM

    The vets are such hipocrites! The first thing they did at the bargaining table was agree to slash the rookie wage scale! They don’t give a crap about the rookies! But they want the rooks to help THEM

  55. 3octaveFart says: Mar 24, 2011 12:32 PM

    thetechnocrat says: Mar 24, 2011 8:08 AM

    “down with all communist unions that cause more job loss than the economy. we can’t afford you any more.”

    Communists?
    Faux News claims another minion.

  56. azcard says: Mar 24, 2011 12:34 PM

    haha, lemme get this straight…we’re talking about the same union and NFL veterans who served up the rookie salary scale to the owners on a silver platter? too funny!

  57. bringbacktheflex says: Mar 24, 2011 12:46 PM

    “I would hate to be a rookie walking into a locker room if the last image veterans have of him is his shaking hands with the very man who canceled the health insurance for veterans’ families.”

    Um, Smith is the one shutting down the game so that rookies can make $1.1 million instead of just $1 million.

    I feel so sorry for the players. NOT.

  58. CKL says: Mar 24, 2011 1:00 PM

    bigdinla says: Mar 24, 2011 9:20 AM

    The one fact ole Teddy is not mentioning in his ignorant little rant, is that the NFLPA could have used it’s money to pick up and continue the players insurance but chose not to!
    ______________________________
    If that is true that is a big strike against them in their rants. Any argument is much more powerful if it isn’t merely rhetoric or words and rants but is backed by actual action.

    I was just mentioning to someone the other night when a player was on NFL channel how I was surprised they would do this in light of the NFLPA’s* decision to balk at having a rebuttal to Goodell on there for what I figured was this very reason: they didn’t want to appear on the NFL’s channel thereby supporting the league.

    Of all the players who have been on since the lockout, Saturday’s appearance is the worst since he will be doing continuing appearances and has been a vocal member of the players’ executive committee. Had he merely come on to give the NFLPA’s* rebuttal I would have understood that.

    I strongly disagree on Bruschi’s stance and am disappointed in it; but that said, the man is no hypocrite. He always walked the walk. Never even had an agent until after his stroke and took lower than average contracts for a guy of his performance level rather than hit FA and leave because he always said he wanted to play his whole career with one team.

  59. realfann says: Mar 24, 2011 1:14 PM

    “Our point is that rookies invited to attend the draft should accept, and they should show up on the first day of work (whenever that may happen) with a complete list of all veteran players who said “yes” when the NFL offered them a chance to be on TV”

    Spoken by someone who’s never been in a locker room in his life.

    Attempt this crap and the rookie’s life would be hell.

    Watches to see this get censored – oops I mean moderated. No criticism of our glorious leader allowed in word or deed.

  60. realitypolice says: Mar 24, 2011 1:56 PM

    azcard says:
    Mar 24, 2011 12:34 PM
    haha, lemme get this straight…we’re talking about the same union and NFL veterans who served up the rookie salary scale to the owners on a silver platter? too funny!
    ======================

    Absolutely. this is exactly what I thought when I first heard the union wanted the rookies not to attend.

    The players that would be invited would be the very players most effected by the rookie wage scale, which the union caved into almost immediately when negotiations started.

    “So, um, I know we rolled over on a rule that will severely restrict your earnings on your first contract, but could you do us a favor and skip the draft?”

  61. 1bottomline says: Mar 24, 2011 2:12 PM

    It’s just ridiculous for current players to tell draftable players invited to the draft not to enjoy the only time they will ever experience the moment of being selected by a team and going on stage to receive their jersey, a handshake, and photo-op when they themselves got to do it. It wouldn’t give the Union* any leverage whatsoever for this act, so for players to act like it could be held against the incoming players is just foolish and ignorant at best. Any player that would try to use this against them on or off the field is the type of player that uses any method to motivate themselves to begin with. It’s like every game being “personal” with Rex Ryan…

  62. stairwayto7 says: Mar 24, 2011 5:30 PM

    The rookies own NOTHING to these vets! They will nto get a chance to play this year because of them being stubborn this year!

  63. hebephrenic says: Mar 24, 2011 5:45 PM

    wryly1 says: Mar 24, 2011 8:21 AM

    Let’s get one thing cleared up. The players butter the owners bread, not the other way around.

    Very true…but the owners not only own the bread…but the butter as well…

  64. Canyonero says: Mar 24, 2011 9:55 PM

    Hey, why wouldnt’ the incoming rookies see it as the veterans denying THEM a chance to make a living??

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