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Pondering a future without the NFL Draft

It’s hard to imagine life without the NFL Draft.  It just doesn’t sound realistic: What would Mel Kiper talk about?

While the dissolution of the draft in favor of a system where every player was an undrafted free agent seems illogical — not mention abhorrent to most fans — it is an issue currently on the table.

Florio had Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal on PFT Live Tuesday to discuss the issue, and the stance that NFLPA* outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler has taken on the position.

As Florio notes, it’s a stance that may just be a threat from the NFLPA*.  But it’s a serious one that has received surprisingly little media attention.  So we’ll give it some attention in the clip below.

To watch Kaplan’s entire interview, head to the PFT Live homepage.  Or download the show on iTunes as a podcast.

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86 Responses to “Pondering a future without the NFL Draft”
  1. nabz034 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:52 PM

    Yeah, I really doubt the NFL would ever do away with the Draft.

    Please, find something else to write about, this is terrible.

  2. phinheads says: Apr 5, 2011 3:55 PM

    slow day i guess

  3. tjacks7 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:57 PM

    Who the hell is Mel Kiper?

  4. bigfranky75 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:58 PM

    if something as stupid and idiotic as this selfish idea actually comes to fruition… plan on the NFL realizing a drop-off in popularity of the same level exhibited by MLB in 1994. fact.

    just when you thought the players couldn’t alienate fans any more… somethign like this pops up.

  5. jakek2 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:58 PM

    It’s a fantastic idea. If republicrite fans want a free open market where the owners have the right to dictate what players will get, its only fair that the players be free to get the most they can without being subject to indentured servitude for the first 5 years of their careers through a process known as the “draft”.

  6. galvestontexans says: Apr 5, 2011 3:58 PM

    Got to love Lawyers. They only care about the bottom line and not the payers or the league. If the draft goes away then what will be the point of watching football. Instead of may the best team win it will be may the Rich teams win.

  7. dewalt2990 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:59 PM

    Kiper would be wearing a McSmile making my breakfast!

  8. commoncents says: Apr 5, 2011 4:05 PM

    What’s next from the NFLPA?? I hope they get slapped silly tomorrow in court.

  9. lj40 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:06 PM

    Would never happen. The NFL could very easily break the union/trade organization by simply moving forward with replacement players. Sure, the first year would be awful, but starting in year two the fans would be back on board and they’d be drafting the likes of Josh McCown in their fantasy leagues. I’m no fan of the owners (and Mike Brown in particular is an embarrassment), but I think the players are grossly overplaying their hand. 1987 seems like a long time ago, but while players like Boomer Esiason were laying down in front of busses, fans were filtering back in to watch the games…

  10. nfl25 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:06 PM

    so the players want no salary cap, and no draft. wow that makes so much sense. then the players can get a ton of money over the next two years but the sport gets ruined. the nfl set their sport up to be the best and players will ruin it so they can get paid.

  11. firejerry says: Apr 5, 2011 4:07 PM

    With no draft…..that would turn the NFL into a couple of great teams and a lot of bad teams, that would free up 20 Sundays a year for me to do other things……….

  12. nflguru12 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:09 PM

    Howard Turkster: “I figured I better join the NFL so I wouldnt get drafted”

    Sgt Hulka: “Son!!, there aint no draft no more”

  13. caseyinkc says: Apr 5, 2011 4:10 PM

    “But it’s a serious one that has received surprisingly little media attention. ”

    ____________________________________

    That’s because most media formats spend their time with actual news

  14. Jay says: Apr 5, 2011 4:14 PM

    “What would Mel Kiper talk about?”

    I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal. People know me. I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

    Wait…that’s pretty much how he sounds right now.

  15. profootballwalk says: Apr 5, 2011 4:17 PM

    One consolation: no NFL draft, and the Bills would be just as successful as they are now.

  16. pppath says: Apr 5, 2011 4:20 PM

    In a free capitalist society, an adult should be free to market their skills and abilities to the highest bidder, or lowest bidder, if that is where they want to work. Otherwise you have a form of communism – You are told where you will be working.
    Damn pinko commie NFL.

  17. 2011to2020lions says: Apr 5, 2011 4:22 PM

    This would destroy the NFL!!! I can’t believe we are even talking about this. Players why can’t you just take a good deal sign it and have business as usual?? Why do we always have to have more. It don’t matter what the first offer is it’s not enough. The price on the car is to high, the house is to high, everything is negotiable now. I hate it just give your best offer and take it, set the price and sell at that price. why do we have to prove we can get the best deal, does it make you feel better, I just don’t get this obsession for never being content.

  18. couldntthinkofaname says: Apr 5, 2011 4:28 PM

    “It’s a fantastic idea. If republicrite fans want a free open market…..”

    There’s always a moron who has to inject his politics into any discussion…..

  19. Caldon says: Apr 5, 2011 4:36 PM

    *IF* the players actually moved beyond the threatening stage and somehow managed to win the legal case to get rid of the draft, there would be hell to pay from the fans. That would be one of the single most stupid things the players could push for and would automatically swing a ton of fans to the owners side.

  20. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Apr 5, 2011 4:37 PM

    Fantasy football players tend to love the auction format over the draft format. As long as you keep the salary cap so a few teams can’t spend a ton more than anyone else, it might be interesting to see how teams fill their needs. It would be nice to have a chance at getting a QB if your team really needs it but your draft position makes it impossible to get a top one. That said, I love the draft.

  21. dukemarc says: Apr 5, 2011 4:46 PM

    dewalt2990 says: Apr 5, 2011 3:59 PM

    Kiper would be wearing a McSmile making my breakfast!
    ———————————-

    He better be wearing a hair net(shower cap?) that food is greasy enough.

  22. denverwally says: Apr 5, 2011 4:47 PM

    Get rid of the draft and the NFL would look like Major League Baseball. A few “haves”, and mostly “have nots”. Every year it will be a group of about 6 teams fighting for the championship and everyone else hoping against hope that some really talented free agent will fall through the cracks so they can sign him to a below-market contract and possibly break .500 next season.

    Small market teams will suffer… the KC Chiefs will become the KC Royals, the Steelers will become the Pirates, and the Packers will be toast.

  23. bukes111 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:48 PM

    If the draft was ruled illegal, the NFL would find another way to market the incoming rookie class. They may have a “signing day” where kids would have to declare what team they’ll sign for or something stupid like that.

    While it may leave guys like Mcshay and Kiper without a job, it’ll be worse for the colleges. Forget agents, owners like Jerry Jones will try to look for any loophole possible to establish relationships with the prospects which in turn may lead to more NCAA violations.

  24. nfl25 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:48 PM

    “It’s a fantastic idea. If republicrite fans want a free open market…..”

    i am still trying to figure out of that post is a joke or someone who does not watch ffotball. even player backers cant say they want the players to win the battle of shutting down the draft and having no salary cap

  25. Lou Pickney says: Apr 5, 2011 4:52 PM

    Current players would not benefit from the end of the NFL Draft, which would allow college players to sign wherever they want, potentially with the highest bidder. Youth is a valuable commodity in the high-impact world of the NFL.

    If the NFLPA really plans put this forward as a demand, I’d think it would be done merely as a negotiating ploy. “We’ll let you keep the draft if we can have unrestricted free agency after four years of service,” that sort of thing.

  26. bukes111 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:55 PM

    @ pppath

    You’re right, the NFL does employ alot of aspects of socialism (salary caps, revenue sharing and the draft). But for sports, socialism works… well for the fans atleast. We like parody, most markets still have some sort of hope going into the season. Socialism may not be a way to govern a country, but for sports, it works.

  27. tv426 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:57 PM

    It would be baseball all over again. They have a draft that really doesn’t matter since 99% of the guys drafted never make it to the bigs. So the big market teams dominate by throwing money around and starving the little market teams. It would be horrible for that system to emerge in the NFL.

  28. jakek2 says: Apr 5, 2011 4:58 PM

    There’s always a moron who has to inject his politics into any discussion…..

    @couldntthinkofaname

    You can’t think of a dumb name to post under and I’m the moron?
    —————-

    nfl25 – real player backers like myself think the players should get as much as they can. No draft and no salary cap lets them do that. What you wrote, much like what other pro-owner posters write, is sheer nonsense.

  29. commoncents says: Apr 5, 2011 4:58 PM

    I hope the owners make a sizable commitment to the retired players and that it comes out of the total budget rather than the NFLPA thinking they will dictate how money gets distributed. Lets face it, most of the current players will be broke within years of retirement and it seems like the owners are on the hook for lifetime support anyways.

  30. pheagles says: Apr 5, 2011 5:23 PM

    I thought it was reported that the players and the league had agreed in principle, for the rookie wage scale. Why would the players (except for leverage) want a plan that gets more rookies more money, then they get now. Teams would outbid each other for 2nd through 5th round projected players. The league and players both lose.

  31. mick730 says: Apr 5, 2011 5:28 PM

    “i am still trying to figure out of that post is a joke or someone who does not watch ffotball. even player backers cant say they want the players to win the battle of shutting down the draft and having no salary cap”

    I’m certain the post is not a joke. It’s coming from a guy, a self admitted lawyer, who beleives that Sam Bradford, who signed a huge 50 million dollar deal with the Rams last year as the draft’s number one pick, is an indentured servant. My guess is this guy does not watch football and is resentful that other people find enjoyment in football and in the draft as well.

    My view is that the NFL is a great form of entertainment, a business in which the participants, the players, are paid extraordinarily well. Nobody forces them to go into Pro Football, in fact, thousands more aspire to get a gig in pro ball than can actually do so. Bradford, as an example, was free to choose a career in sales, marketing, finance, construction, anything that may have fit his major at Oklahoma, if he had one. The point is that nobody forces the players into the game. It is a unique environment that has been created so as to give the league some kind of competitive balance. It works great.

    The players, the lawyers, the unionists, the bitter, the unhappy, the miserable, want to destroy it, simply because that’s what they want. The amusing part is these same people who are so ready to jump over a cliff to defend the “human rights of indentured servants or slaves” are the same people that in the real world feel that everybody who makes more than 250k per year, well bellow the NFL minimum, are the evil rich, whose taxes should be raised through the roof. The same people who believe in their own warped and unhappy little minds, that doctors cut off people’s feet to make an extra buck rather than just prescribe insulin injections.

    Think of it. Subsitute the American Medical Association for the NFL PLayers Association, and how many of these union types, lawyer types, or fat, middle aged women in Alabama would be exerting the same amount of energy defending doctors as they are on football players.

    What’s really funny, is that if the NFLPA gets everything it wants, the game will be ruined and a small number of teams, owned by billionaires who own a team as a hobby, will win the Super Bowl each and every year. Most of the 32 teams will fact the same prospects in the fall that that the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates of MLB face every spring. Won’t that be fun!!

    A strange situation for sure.

  32. kniddynamite says: Apr 5, 2011 5:34 PM

    denverwally says:
    Apr 5, 2011 4:47 PM
    Get rid of the draft and the NFL would look like Major League Baseball. A few “haves”, and mostly “have nots”.

    Why? Major League Baseball has a draft, and it looks exactly like itself. Baseball does not have a salary cap, though, or engage in revenue sharing. The NFL does both, and to a great extent than any major American sport.

    The NFL was more like MLB in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s than it is now, and it had a draft then, but no salary cap or revenue sharing.

    So what, exactly, is making anyone think that the draft is what’s causing parity in the NFL…

    …to the extent that it exists. In the last 10 Super Bowls, only 2 of them did not feature the Colts, Patriots or Steelers representing the AFC.

  33. mattyc says: Apr 5, 2011 5:40 PM

    Someone stated: “if something as stupid and idiotic as this selfish idea actually comes to fruition… plan on the NFL realizing a drop-off in popularity of the same level exhibited by MLB in 1994. fact”.

    Well, that is a complete understatement. A drop off is putting it lightly. Fans are already fed up & want to revolt, but don’t really know how nor do they know whether they want to risk walking away from a damn good sport. One thing that is keeping many fans still involved at this point is that there will still be an NFL Draft. Take away the draft & fans will truely revolt. You may want to think loooonnnnng & hard about that Mr. Kessler & advise your clients that the minimal amount of money they are haggling over now…… An excess of that will be lost if you pull the NFL Draft from fans.

    MLB doesn’t have a product that makes the draft interesting. Not enough College Baseball fans to know more than the top 10, if that. NBA doesn’t have a product appealing to fans because nobody likes the NBA game. There is no defense. It isn’t fun to watch. It wasn’t that good anyways & what Lebron & Carmelo have done currently makes it even less appealing to fans. Not to mention, it is only two rounds. Football….. Its perfect. Everyone latches on to college football & 99.9% of those fans love the NFL as much or more. The offseason generates tons of attention, in additon to the E/W Shrine, Senior Bowl event, & the combine. Most fans know every pick through all 7 rounds. Even the most common of fans can follow the draft through round 4 & half of round 5.

    Take away the NFL Draft & you’ve taken away half of your products appeal. Your business ignorance continues to shine & makes the owners desire for more money EXTREMELY VALID!

  34. ilduce24 says: Apr 5, 2011 5:41 PM

    I would not hesitate for a millisecond to boycott the entire NFL if that happened. Basically, the rich would get richer and the poor would get poorer and it would completely eliminate the parody which makes the NFL what it is today and basically gives all fans a reason to watch their team every year. If they eliminated the draft it would probably eliminate salary cap as well and we would have teams able to spend as much money as they wanted on the players they wanted and you would have teams going 16-0 and teams going 0-16 and no middle ground, leaving it basically impossible to drastically improve year over year. I just think this has gotten to the point of stupidity and I hope Judge Nelson sees this tomorrow and tells them to stop acting like children and get out of the court rooms and back to the negotiating table because this is a $9 billion sport and both sides need to stop being greedy and come to a compromise. The draft and free agency are basically another season to me, and I just love the intrigue of the off-season and seeing my team as well as other teams improve and make moves and all the surprises the draft brings, and I’m sure a lot of other people feel the same way.

  35. nahcouldntbethat says: Apr 5, 2011 5:43 PM

    Success in the NFL would still come down to managerial smarts above all else. The Steelers have been great for 4 decades because the Rooneys really understand football. The Lions have been terrible because the Fords do not.

    Big market teams like Chicago, New England (before 2001), every team that has played in LA and the NY Jets have lost as many games as they won despite having a theoretically large advantage particularly before the salary cap was instituted.

    No draft, no cap, no problem. It would mean that a few small market teams really suffered, but guess what they suffer now in this “parity” environment and the change would likely be un-noticeable.

    The only thing that would be likely to happen that is different than what occurs now is that some teams would be able to maintain several pro caliber QB’s over a period of years and be insulated from the injury factor at that position. Free agency would resolve that however because no QB worth his salt is going to stay as a backup when he is free to go elsewhere for a good offer and start.

  36. jakek2 says: Apr 5, 2011 5:49 PM

    mick – So if I’m a lawyer and pro-player, I am resentful of rich ballplayers? Before you stand on your soap box and drone on, try creating an argument that makes sense.

    Open your eyes. The owners want a salary cap (to keep salaries under control) and want a salary-structured draft to control incoming draftees. Bradford’s salary is irrelevant.* This structure is a form of servitude. It sure isn’t free and open.

    * In a true open laisse-faire market, a market republicrites such as yourself harp on whenever owners vs. players is discussed, a player like Bradford would likely have gotten much more than 50M. Sounds like you are the jealous hater, not me.

  37. thefiesty1 says: Apr 5, 2011 5:51 PM

    Some teams would be just as bad with or without the draft. But, I kind of like this. Every man for himself. The rich get richer and the also rans remain also rans. Each player could go to the owner and ask for a raise on his on merits, no union, no contract. Everyone applies for a job at the owners offer to pay just like most of the rest of us work. Whoops, NAW this would never work.

  38. jakek2 says: Apr 5, 2011 5:53 PM

    denverwally – keep you head buried in the sand. MLB is like it is not because of the lack of salary cap and revenue sharing but because certain owners would rather squeeze every dime of profit out of the team rather than fielding a winner.

    Trivia question – What team made a bigger profit last year, KC or NYY? Here’s a hint, NOT THE YANKEES!

  39. denverwally says: Apr 5, 2011 5:54 PM

    But how many baseball draftee’s go from amateur to the majors immediately? Less than 1% (thats a guess, I don’t have stats to back it up – just my eyeballs). The NFL draft gives lower revenue teams just as much chance at top notch players as the high revenue teams as long as their scouting departments ate solid and they ignore Mel Kiper at all costs. In baseball, most players have time to develop and teams have an idea of what they have and don’t have. So the fact that they don’t have a cap doesn’t matter until its time to sign that second contract… thats the time the Pirates, Padres, and Brewers become farm teams for the Yankees and Red Sox, and Mets.

    I cannot believe these idiots – players and owners – are going to blow up the greatest league in the world because they can’t figure out how to divide up the billions in profits each year.

  40. waitingguilty says: Apr 5, 2011 5:55 PM

    I don’t see the big deal. My team has been operating without a draft and exclusively in FAs for a decade.

    -Dan Snyder

  41. bobwhitequail says: Apr 5, 2011 6:02 PM

    Jeffrey Kessler is as bad as it gets.

    The longer he drags this out and the more little brushfires he creates the more money he makes. There is zero incentive for these lawyers to produce any kind of agreement. There is all the incentive in the world for them to generate more and more fighting.

  42. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Apr 5, 2011 6:08 PM

    This is absurd. Without the draft the NFL will implode on itself. Half the teams will go out of business because they will either have to spend themselves into oblivion or the best players will group on the best teams and the crud teams will be so bad they will not sell tickets. This is the DUMBEST point/argument in the NFL right now.

  43. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Apr 5, 2011 6:16 PM

    denverwally says:
    Apr 5, 2011 4:47 PM
    Small market teams will suffer… the Packers will be toast.
    _________________

    Thanks for pointing out the bright side, Wally!

  44. roodlenoodle says: Apr 5, 2011 6:17 PM

    Not only it could happen, it probably will, because money is involved. And we the fan will pay the tarif as we do with everything in pro sports. It will have to stop somewhere

  45. kniddynamite says: Apr 5, 2011 6:23 PM

    Getting rid of the draft would be the best thing imaginable for the NFL. It has benefits for the players, owners/teams, and fans. The only people who would suffer? The super-agents.

    First of all, even though the owners wouldn’t be giving up anything of material value, the NFLPA would have to consider this a major concession from the league. If this helps bridge the gap towards a new CBA, everybody wins.

    The primary thing that people need to realize is that a meaningful salary cap is the only necessary driver of parity, and that, in the artificial economy created by a hard cap, anything that hinders the teams’ ability to decide for itself how to allot its cap space will *harm* parity.

    This is why the top handful of draft picks have become less desirable over the past few years — rookie projection is an inexact enough science that being able to pick first isn’t worth the added money you have to sink into a top five pick. You can’t tweak the rookie wage scale enough to fix this without engaging in seriously illegal wage-fixing, even with the union’s blessing. So ultimately, having both a draft and a cap hurts the teams that pick at the top — think about how many franchises have been set back for years by money sunk into #1 overall busts.

    The draft also adds a random element into the GM’s ability to plan and build the type of team he wants. This is how you end up with teams either “reaching” and over-investing in a sub-prime player at a need position or being kept from sinking its resources into what the GM sees as its biggest holes. Without a draft, GMs are freed up to engage in only the types of team-building they deem necessary. If Belichick wants to acquire a handful of mid-range guys and no premiere names, he can. If Polian wants to load all his rookie wage allowance up into the perfect Freeney replacement, he can.

    Also, for the first time, salary dispersal can match talent dispersal — top-heavy drafts will be top-heavy in terms of salary, etc.

    Meanwhile, the rookies for the first time get control over where they play. As we’ve learned from Free Agency, perennial winners don’t have as much advantage in signing players as one might think. The contract is far and away the biggest factor, almost to exclusion. When the money offered is comprable, proximity to one’s family, a better chance at winning a starting position, and desire to play in a certain type of system all tend to win out over wanting to play for a proven winner.

    Instead, you will end up with rookies in positions they’re happier with, because they chose them themselves. Players who feel they’re undervalued coming out of college can accept less guaranteed money in return for shorter contracts, and position ‘tweeners who have strong preferences can shop themselves only to teams that want them to play their preferred spot.

    As for the contention that the league would never get rid of the draft because of the TV attraction of the draft itself, that’s unlikely. The lottery structure isn’t what makes the draft interesting, what makes people watch is that it’s how they find out what rookies their team is going to acquire. ESPN and the NFL network will have no problem making a “rookie signing symposium” as big an event as the draft. If “The Decision” can pull the ratings it did, something similar with all the most touted entering rookies for the nation’s most popular sport can absolutely kill for the networks.

  46. emmonsh says: Apr 5, 2011 6:24 PM

    jakek2 says:
    Apr 5, 2011 4:58 PM
    There’s always a moron who has to inject his politics into any discussion…..

    @couldntthinkofaname

    You can’t think of a dumb name to post under and I’m the moron?
    —————-

    nfl25 – real player backers like myself think the players should get as much as they can. No draft and no salary cap lets them do that. What you wrote, much like what other pro-owner posters write, is sheer nonsense.

    buddy your the biggest moron i ever seen. sheer nonsense is that your parenst kept you and thru away the afterbirth.

  47. egreen4590 says: Apr 5, 2011 6:28 PM

    Great. So now Kiper can mislead us about something else.

  48. harmcityhomer says: Apr 5, 2011 6:31 PM

    The draft is illegal without the CBA. So is a lockout.

    Free market NFL football would have more parity than NCAA football with much less team and smaller rosters. It would not all of a sudden turn into MLB like many fans fear.

  49. FinFan68 says: Apr 5, 2011 6:31 PM

    jakek2 says:
    Apr 5, 2011 4:58 PM
    There’s always a moron who has to inject his politics into any discussion…..

    nfl25 – real player backers like myself think the players should get as much as they can. No draft and no salary cap lets them do that. What you wrote, much like what other pro-owner posters write, is sheer nonsense.
    *******************
    Why the double standard then? It’s OK for the players to get as much as they can by participating in a sports league provided by the owners/league, but it is not OK for the owners to regulate costs.

    Players can market themselves to the AFL, CFL and UFL right now and get their “fair market value” there or the NFL. Why don’t they? Because the salary cap is much higher in the NFL than the caps in the UFL/AFL/CFL. Why are the players only suing the NFL about the salary cap? Wouldn’t the caps in the other football leagues also hinder their ability to get the most money for their services?
    Your arguments, though noble on an individual basis, are not taking into consideration the future of the league. What good is it to let Manning, Brady, Brees and a handful of other players make an insane amount of money if it is at the expense of the rest of the players that you blindly think you are supporting. If the players win the lawsuits, the future of the league is bleak. Most of the “pro owner” crowd are not so shallow or shortsighted to actually see that.

  50. xli2006 says: Apr 5, 2011 6:35 PM

    I’m confused… are they intentionally trying to destroy the League? Or just threatening to?

    I’ve never seen such a bad stretch of decision making from such a powerful and successful organization in my entire life.

    Kind of ashamed of all parties related to the NFL right now.

  51. bukes111 says: Apr 5, 2011 6:42 PM

    tv426 says:
    t would be baseball all over again. … So the big market teams dominate by throwing money around and starving the little market teams.
    _________________________________
    @ tv426

    As long as the salary cap is intact, the big market teams can’t big-time the small market teams.
    What would probably happen is the top prospects will make more money in the open market, while the mid round picks will make less. So from the player’s perspective, the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer.
    But the cap is more important for parody then the elimination of a draft.

  52. bukes111 says: Apr 5, 2011 7:04 PM

    jakek2 says:

    “Trivia question – What team made a bigger profit last year, KC or NYY? Here’s a hint, NOT THE YANKEES!”
    __________________________________

    Well reported profits is different from real profits. Not totally convinced that the Yankee accountants are playing w/ the numbers but even if they weren’t, the Royals can’t compete w/ the Yanks in revenue and therefore can’t afford a payroll close to what the Yanks dole out. So KC has a choice, not compete and gain money, or get lucky for a 2 yr run and then begin 10 yrs of rebuilding.

    But since most of baseball’s revenue is based on local contracts vs national contracts(like football), they can’t adapt full on revenue sharing. The answer to this problem is contraction.

  53. janvanflac says: Apr 5, 2011 7:27 PM

    Please…it’s PARITY not PARODY.

    The latter means a joke, or a spoof, which this whole thing is, but clearly that’s not what you mean here.

  54. tinytim4115 says: Apr 5, 2011 7:30 PM

    draft time is the part of the year i look forward to. i go every year, it’s an awesome experience.

    i would hate for it to be no longer a part of the NFL…

  55. ncsteeler says: Apr 5, 2011 7:31 PM

    Getting rid of NFL draft could get rid of Kiper. Every cloud does have a silver lining.

  56. airraid77 says: Apr 5, 2011 7:35 PM

    Here is a hint……
    those of you worried about the players getting screwed by the owners?
    eliminate the salary, their are 25 owners and would till the end of time that wont pay a dime.
    Elimination of the cap, means exactly that. Their is no floor with no cap. think hugh culverhouse.
    eliminating the draft means that the 30 players would go to the top 5 teams….
    and unlike baseball….their would be no arizona diamonbacks, tb rays, or marlins winning the sb….it will be, UNDERLINE THE WORD WILL, the daniel snyders, jj,al davis’s in the superbowl every year.

  57. airraid77 says: Apr 5, 2011 7:37 PM

    this is the one sport where 1 player wont win you a game all by himself.

  58. granadafan says: Apr 5, 2011 7:38 PM

    A more appropriate example of a league without a draft is European soccer. The leagues are dominated by a few teams and the smaller teams are forever relegated to the bottom of the league with the rare exception when the stars align for them.

    Baseball has major issues with the lack of a world-wide draft with non-US players like Japanese, Taiwanese, Dominicans, Cubans, etc, not having to enter the draft which lead to bidding wars between the big market teams. Teams like the Pirates have no chance, ie., not fair nor healthy for the league.

    BTW, people, it’s PARITY not PARODY unless you are intentionally trying to make the point that the NFL will be a parody of itself if it does away with the draft and parity.

  59. buffordtjustice says: Apr 5, 2011 7:40 PM

    BIG MISTAKE!!

  60. nfl25 says: Apr 5, 2011 7:43 PM

    jakek2,

    dude i am going to assume that you dont believe what u r saying and r trying to get a rise out of people, u r doing a good job of that by the way. u sound like a person that doesnt know football all that well. or u r just a dude that loves his players so much, u want them to have everything. how can u love the players more than the game?

    and what MICK said is so true. the same people that are in love with theplayers are the same people that hate on rich people. are the players not rich? do u guys think that if your favorite player only knew how much u loved and adored them, that that player would really care?

  61. voyager6 says: Apr 5, 2011 8:00 PM

    Once a judge rules that the draft is illegal under antitrust rules , the judge will be forced to rule that everything in the NFL that the NFL does or sets rules on has to be ruled an anti trust violation.

    You can’t have a CBA with the NFL, you canit have a league wide salary cap, you can’t have NFL-negotiated TV contracts, and you can’t even have the NFL control the schedule.

    It would be on each team to negotiate a TV constract, set schedule, etc. Each team would have to come to an agreement with the NFLPA* much like the UAW has to negotiate seperate contracts with Ford, Chrysler and GM.

    The loss of the TV contracts is what will doom the NFL. No network will pay the small market teams, but they will give nationwide coverate to the big market teams because of ratings.

    You can’t have 32 separate salary caps set by each team’s negotiation with the union. With unequal income from TV, any fixed salary cap the NFLPA* demands will run the small market teams out of business. Quickly.

    The net result will be a 10 team league, with the few remaining players getting more money, but the rest will be playing in the CFL or UFL or the unemployment line.

  62. bcvv says: Apr 5, 2011 8:09 PM

    The NFL draft is just plain fun! It would be a real shame if they got rid of it.

  63. TurdSandwich says: Apr 5, 2011 8:12 PM

    Funny how people flock to these articles like flies on a turd – then complain that they had to read it.

  64. eezyxyz says: Apr 5, 2011 8:17 PM

    This is an issue that most people simply have no ability to envision change to what they’re used to. Here are a few points in defense of getting rid of the draft:

    -it would be fair. If you graduate top of your class in law school you don’t get drafted by some firm and have to go work for them – you apply to 20 different firms and let them all fight over you and get the best offer you can. No good reason why football players shouldn’t have the same opportunity.

    -the competitive balance argument is bogus. Take a look at the teams drafting near the top of the draft most years versus those picking near the bottom every year and it should be clear that the draft is incredibly ineffective at creating competitive balance. The actual real reason for the draft is to hold down player salaries by restricting competition for players’ services (see first point)

    -again on the subject of competitive balance and fears that the best teams would sign up all the best college talent: great college players want to play. They’re going to favor teams where they have the opportunity to play sooner. You think the top QB prospects in this draft want to go sign with Green Bay just because they’re the reigning champs? And sit on the bench behind Rodgers for the next ten years? No, they want to go somewhere they can play.

    -as for the fear that it could skew the salary structure so that 5% of the players are making 95% of the money: well, we don’t know that would happen. But right now the star players make significantly more money than backup LBs who play special teams, so it’s not obvious that the salaries would get more skewed than they currently are.

    The key to maintaining competitive balance is the salary cap, not the draft.

  65. bukes111 says: Apr 5, 2011 8:28 PM

    @janvanflac

    LOL, Those were some terrible typos. Point taken.

  66. airraid77 says: Apr 5, 2011 8:50 PM

    I dont know how the players or the non exsistant union can argue the legality of the draft or the cap when they collectively bargained those things. they are arguing their own stupidity.
    and the sad part is, if this were to get traction and those things were deemed illegal, their is no going back…..which means the nfl, and unfortunately all of professional sports become irrelevant.
    how? you will have you will 15 teams in all the major sports winning the championship every year….they will come from dallas, NY, chicago and LA…..and like now with baseball, nobody will care. and their will be no fixing it.

  67. northstars1991 says: Apr 5, 2011 8:55 PM

    I hate lawyers, they ruin everything

  68. airraid77 says: Apr 5, 2011 8:56 PM

    and it would be all the players fault. and m-flo, would join the ranks of the bitter and unemployed…..
    without a cap or a draft…..20 owners can fold up ther franchise and go home.
    and their would be no football….because the owners are not going to pay money if they are losing money….no matter how much the players or fans want football.

  69. fishfan39 says: Apr 5, 2011 9:26 PM

    Let’s see will it be the owners or the players who gets to kill the golden goose.

  70. dadindebt6 says: Apr 5, 2011 9:54 PM

    Losing the draft would hurt the players far more than it would hurt the owners. Everyone thought this past uncapped year was going to be a player bonanza. It didn’t quite turn out that way. One of the big reasons that today’s contracts for the first couple of picks are so outrageous is because those teams HAVE to negotitate with the pick. It becomes a PR nightmare for the team not to sign its top pick. Without a draft, the team coupld simply move to the second best option at the position and save itself a ton of money. Player salaries would drop dramatically without the draft.

  71. realitypolice says: Apr 5, 2011 10:10 PM

    You should be careful comparing the NFL to MLB. MLB has more franchises win titles over the last decade than the NFL has.

  72. southmo says: Apr 5, 2011 11:05 PM

    Exactly what we’ve been saying about the results of these anti-trust suits. What’s really amazing is how little people understand of the consequences.

    The draft is a fun, bonafide part of the game. And has been for most of the league’s history. It’s a marketed part, complete with 5 hours of live coverage on day 1, and millions of viewers. To think that doing away with this will not hurt the popularity of the game is short-sighted at best, and somewhat lacking of common sense.

    It doesn’t compare to hiring lawyers out of college, because lawyers don’t come out of school with a combination of extremely rare talent and an already established popular following. You can’t name a top ten of lawyers graduating this year or any year, and no one cares.

    The draft has always created competitive balance with teams that draft well. If there was no draft, the rich owners like Jerry Jones could simply buy more of the top players than Pittsburgh. In the draft, Pittsburgh regularly owns the Cowboys because they draft consistently better than Jerry Jones. Again, it’s a competitive part of the game, to try and judge talent and make those selections. Fans who get geared up for draft day already know this.

    Great college players aren’t going to merely favor playing on teams where they can start sooner. (For one thing, that doesn’t happen with college ball to begin with. College players are often enticed by the “big program.”) Where they can start will only be one possible factor. Money and fame and Super Bowl rings are equally, if not more appealing.

    And there are some teams that no one will want to go to, regardless. So get ready for fewer teams, and fewer spots available, and much less fan interest.

    Besides, if the “key” to maintaining balance is the salary cap… Well that’s out the door too, so the argument is done anyway.

    If the lawyers see this through to the end and the players win, forget all the salary caps, drafts, league rules, league scheduling, revenue sharing with poorer teams, disciplinary actions, etc…

    And oh yeah, they’ll be signing kids out of high school like the NBA and that will harm college ball, AND the NFL, just like it has with basketball.

    (Used to be, by the time a player went pro, he was already famous in college –remember Phi Slama Jama?… or Larry Bird?… college heroes!– and people followed those guys to the pros. It made college and the pros more popular. Now, because high school kids get NBA contracts, no one knows them, there’s less player recognition, and the NBA has less popularity -for other reasons too, but that is one)

    Doing away with the structure of the League is what Peter King referred to as killing the golden goose. He was right about that.

  73. southmo says: Apr 5, 2011 11:08 PM

    I mean Peter King from Sports Illustrated. Unlike some, this isn’t just about politics for me. I just like NFL football, the draft, and everything else. I wish I could keep it.

  74. vahawker says: Apr 5, 2011 11:24 PM

    eezyxyz- One of the main reasons, I think, teams at the top of the draft every year stay there is because they are saddled with unsustainable, outlandish rookie contracts that severely limit their ability under the cap to add quality players throughout the roster. They end up with a few highly paid players surrounded by inferior quality and end up back at the top of board to continue the cycle for another year.
    A rookie cap frees up money to add higher quality players to the roster and help break the sucky team cycle.

    If it is determined there can be no draft, will it also be determined that there can be cap? If no cap, there will also be no floor.

  75. pvtsquiffy says: Apr 5, 2011 11:40 PM

    Hypothetically: If the draft was indeed dissolved- What would prevent the teams from organizing and holding drafts behind closed doors? The format could remain the same but the teams would now have the ability to low ball the new players. (example: Pretend the draft didn’t exist this year. The teams could meet and perform the draft just as we would normally see it. They could discuss what the player will be offered with an agreement that no other teams will outbid the team that “drafted” the player. So now player “X” is the first player “drafted” in the behind closed doors draft and is offered chump change from Carolina. And Carolina’s offer would be best offer out there.)

    I know this wouldn’t work for many years, but even if they did it for several years it would bring the players back to the table.

    Of course Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones would be the two D-Bags that would prevent this from ever working.

  76. mick730 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:09 AM

    Jake, Deb Octfav, or whatever, are ideologues. Jake uses the term “republicrites”, which is a good indicator of his position. He supposedly supports unfettered capitalism for 1700 NFL players, but he would find the same type of unfettered capitalism abhorrent in any other industry in America. He is for the players because he is always for “labor”.

    But as I wrote, he would never be in favor of unfettered capitalism, the “I’m in favor of players making as much as they possibly can” attitude, for doctors, or businessmen; only for trial lawyers, labor unions and probably government workers. Oh, and let’s not forget movie stars.

    The American labor movement has become “for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many”.

    Pro Football, including the draft, is enjoyed tremendously by millions of fans; probably tens of millions of fans. A tiny handful of people want to drastically change Pro Football for ideological reasons. That’s all there is to it. Nothing more, nothing less.

    It would be one thing if those 1700 NFL players were abused, underpaid, treated badly, you know, like slaves; but they aren’t. To continue playing a game, a game that they supposedly love, for a period of time even after they supposedly become adults, and for which they are paid more than they could possibly make in any other endeavor upon leaving college, the poor boys have to endure being “drafted”, not into the armed forces to risk life and limb on foreign shores mind you, but to make multi millions of dollars playing a game. That’s all. How terrible. How horrendous.

    The Jakes and Debs, who are so full of hate and class envy against doctors, businessmen, entrepenuers, etc, just can’t let the NFL alone. My guess is since the NFLPA is a subset of the AFL-CIO, a good share of those high dollar union dues go to Jake’s and Deb’s favorite political party. And no, it isn’t the “republicrites”.

  77. airraid77 says: Apr 6, 2011 12:21 AM

    fishfan39,
    the owners wont come out of this on the wrong end regardless of what anybody thinks.
    too many people think that both sides are winning. And to many fail to realize that if that were the case? free agency would be in full swing.

    the only people in the end that will lose anything is the players.
    the fans…will spend their money else where….and not think twice……
    the owners will close it down.
    Not lock them out. Not defy the courts. Just plain and simple go out of buisness. and take their money and move on.
    No court in the world can force them to pay money they dont have……Hint: they are millionaire and billionaires for a reason.

  78. theandy59 says: Apr 6, 2011 6:51 AM

    In exchange for a percentage of qualifying revenue agreed to in the CBA, players in the past agreed to accept conditions of employment that would not be tolerated in a free market, i.e., restriction of movement, artificially imposed caps on salary, etc. Imagine all businesses within a certain market creating an association, and agreeing within that association to cap salaries and to hold an annual “draft”, restricting the employment opportunities of an individual to only the business that selected them in their “draft”. Of course that’s ridiculous, but that’s what happens in the NFL. So if the owners want to impose their will on the players and fall back on employer/employee dynamics, the players naturally will fall back on their rights as participants in a free market – which include protection from collusion among competitors that restricts economic opportunity. The NFL is not a business entity, it is an association of like businesses that regulate how the 32 separate businesses within it operate.

    Those people who want to argue that the players make too much money and should just shut up and enjoy their millions and be thankful should remember this – that argument is always simply a matter of perspective. I’m certain that whatever you do for a living, and however much money you make doing it, there are literally billions of people on this planet that would gladly do it for far, far less, and would accept conditions of employment that you would find outrageous and illegal. Oh, but they could never do it as well as you, right? I’m guessing you’d be a lot easier to replace than an NFL caliber QB, CB, LT, etc.

  79. theandy59 says: Apr 6, 2011 7:12 AM

    @pvtsquiffy – To answer your question, U.S. law would prevent what you describe, which ironically, frames the issue perfectly. Can you imagine owners in your line of business doing the same thing? Privately meeting to “choose” employees to hire and secretly agreeing to cap what businesses can pay their employees? Again, the amount of money the players make clouds most people’s judgement on this issue, but it shouldn’t as that’s simply a matter of perspective.

  80. airraid77 says: Apr 6, 2011 8:08 AM

    mick730,
    You are the man and hit the labor movement and left right on the button.

  81. pvtsquiffy says: Apr 6, 2011 5:51 PM

    @theandy59 – I actually could see private business operating in that fashion. They place caps on employee positions within their business all the time. In fact, I would assume the majority of businesses operate this way.

    There are other factions of football (i.e AFL, UFL, etc.) that the players have the option of joining.

    The key is: Is the NFL a business that’s merely compiled of teams?

    Many factories have teams and the factory decides where the worker reports.

  82. airraid77 says: Apr 6, 2011 6:34 PM

    pvtsquiffy,
    its called a budget…its how buisnesses are run….liberals of course have no idea what that is…which is why they are broke, bitter and uneducated.

  83. bcgreg says: Apr 6, 2011 6:41 PM

    @ couldntthinkofaname

    Should have been couldntthinkofacoherentpoint

    Who injected politics into it? Ummm, you did. I’m for capitalism too, but not in this industry on this point. It’s why they have anti trust exemptions because if you do away with the draft and salary caps and minimum salaries, then this and any other league would fold.

    A player is not prohibited for making as much as they can. That’s capitalism. The teams can make as much as they can off stadium naming rights and their teams. That’s capitalism. To do away with the draft and make all incoming rookies undrafted free agents eliminate the minimum salaries etc isn’t capitalism. It’s chaos!

    Although all you Joe Blows who said they’d play for nothing might get your chance in that scenario!

  84. juancorsair says: Apr 7, 2011 10:51 PM

    If the NFL drops the salary cap and draft, this is one fan that will be spending a lot more Sundays bowhunting. At that point, you might as well have the players wear flags and let women play for all I’d care.

  85. weakafceast says: Apr 26, 2011 11:54 AM

    And this just in:
    The Jest still suck & the Pats are fresh off of 2 consecutive 1&dones.

  86. weakafceast says: Apr 26, 2011 11:55 AM

    where’s Marty now?

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