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For rookies, lockout doesn’t start until the press conference ends

nfl_a_haden_sy_200 AP

Incoming rookies may have more than one lockout-related dilemma to resolve in April.

Though it widely has been assumed that the rookies enter the pool of locked-out players the moment after they are drafted, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that the players may be brought to their (eventual) cities of employment for a press conference.

It’s a common practice, with most if not all first-round picks and some later-round players flying to the cities in which they’ll be working for a media meet-and-greet.  Given that the rookies are facing subtle-but-real pressure from the veterans and the NFLPA* to not attend the draft if invited, the next question becomes whether the rookies will participate in the introductory press conference at their teams’ facilities, which will end with the teams locking the doors to the facilities behind them.

Aiello was right in December.  The NFL really is the ultimate reality show.

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12 Responses to “For rookies, lockout doesn’t start until the press conference ends”
  1. nagaswan says: Mar 25, 2011 3:04 PM

    So once the conference ends the team can’t speak to him even though he is still in the building. This is not clear in any way and coming from an untrustworthy source, namely someone who will make money off of the increased traffic the press conference will bring.

  2. kd75 says: Mar 25, 2011 3:09 PM

    I understand the pressure from the NFLPA* on this, but they really want to deprive these kids of the most exciting day of their lives up to this point?

    Billionaire owner sends his private jet to fly you to wherever you’re going to start your career and you are the star of your probably your first ever press conference that your parents can DVR and show the neighbors.

    The photo of you putting on the team hat and holding that #1 jersey with the commish standing next to you is something I’d want.

  3. tombradyswig says: Mar 25, 2011 3:10 PM

    Joe doesn’t look real happy in that pic….
    Oh, the Browns drafted him, I see why!!!

  4. prior0knowledge says: Mar 25, 2011 3:15 PM

    I don’t think it is fair of the NFLPA* to ask the rookie to forgoe the draft. That is a once-in-a-lifetime party. But the media press conference is marketing for the team so they can earn money off of your fame. And they have locked you out.

    If I was a first round rookie, I would not attend any media press conference at the team’s facility. Wait until the lockout is over and the team welcomes the rookies back before helping the team sell tickets.

  5. thefactor51 says: Mar 25, 2011 3:38 PM

    Hey prior knowledge I don’t think it’s fair for the owners to lock out players that are living a once in a lifetime dream to play football. But the fans seem to forget about that.

  6. mike83ri says: Mar 25, 2011 3:47 PM

    I don’t get how they’d be locked out right away. They aren’t employees of the NFL until they sign a contract.

  7. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 25, 2011 4:04 PM

    Just checking to see if I’ve been banned.

  8. santolonius says: Mar 25, 2011 4:29 PM

    while your heart may be breaking for these poor young dreamers deprived of a chance to attend the draft on the biggest day of their lives, you have to at least acknowledge that the nflpa* is not playing a game of pattycake here. this is a serious situation for them. and even though it goes against your well-intended advice, they may want to use every available method to pressure the other side.

  9. fin72 says: Mar 25, 2011 4:52 PM

    mike83ri says:
    Mar 25, 2011 3:47 PM
    I don’t get how they’d be locked out right away. They aren’t employees of the NFL until they sign a contract.

    ________________________________

    Exactly, and the NFL isn’t allowing them or any other player to sign a contract until the lockout is over.

  10. nflfan101 says: Mar 25, 2011 4:59 PM

    I am not sure that the NFLPA* gives a rip about rookies or even the average player.

    While rookies may want to pay attention to veteran players telling them not to go to the draft or the team city, rookies may also want to pay attention to creating a fan base. The NFLPA* is not being fair to rookies, but all is fair in love and war. And the NFLPA* has said that this is war in their view.

    This mess is all about the highest paid players. As far as I can see, there has been no effort to increase the pay of the rookies, average player, or even obtain more benefits for retired players. It is just so that Brady, Manning, et al. can make more money and pay more taxes.

  11. thefiesty1 says: Mar 25, 2011 6:19 PM

    No contract, no employee. How are the teams that draft them going to negotiate a contract if the lockout is still in place without tampering charges against the team that drafted them? Can the team only talk to their agents?

  12. profootballwalk says: Mar 25, 2011 8:53 PM

    Teams can’t negotiate with them – that’s the point. And how would they, not knowing what the new rules would be?

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