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Clearing the air on rookie contact rules

NFL Draft Football AP

Some of you have asked us to clarify the rules regarding contact with draft picks after they become draft picks.

Initially, it was widely believed that, after the rookie’s name is called from the podium at Radio City Music Hall, the rookie joins the category of locked-out players.

We then reported that the players may go to the team facility for a post-draft press conference, and that the lockout as to those players commences once the press conference ends.

Since then, a sense has emerged that open-ended contact with draft picks is permitted through and until the end of the draft.  Most recently, PhillySportsDaily.com reported that the Eagles believe “the NFL will allow contact with their draft picks up until the end of the draft on Saturday,” and that the “grace period will enable players to speak with their new coaches, and possibly even come to Philadelphia for a press conference in the midst of a lockout.”

But NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that the permitted contact consists of a press conference, a simple “meet and greet,” and nothing more.  No meetings, no communications, no discussions.  Nothing football related.  The window for holding the press conference closes upon the conclusion of the draft on Saturday, April 30.

It’s unknown whether any rookies will balk at attending a press conference as the last act before being locked out.  If they go, it will make for an awkward parting, what with the deadbolt engaging behind the player as soon as he walks through the door of team headquarters after the press conference ends.

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15 Responses to “Clearing the air on rookie contact rules”
  1. dwoofer says: Apr 21, 2011 4:50 PM

    “This player is one of the greatest athletes coming out of college. He will make us a Super Bowl contender. Now get out.”

  2. Kave Krew says: Apr 21, 2011 4:53 PM

    I have been all for the rookies going to NYC on draft day.

    But they are locked out as soon as the bro-hug is over and hence shouldn’t visit the facility.

    At the very least, this is the intersection where the rookies can start to demonstrate their unity to the NFLPA

  3. oldbyrd says: Apr 21, 2011 4:56 PM

    Had enough of these communist Unions yet? Can they screw up a good thing or what? Hopefully current stats will continue to prevail, proving Unions are on their way out. 20% less in the last 5 years. Say goodnight D’Maurcie or whatever your name is. Where is 3′-1″ Marxist big mouth gonna work?

  4. puntpasskick says: Apr 21, 2011 4:59 PM

    Reid: “Listen, we’ve done our homework on this guy, and we’re fine there.”

    Reporter: “Are you going to discuss his role on the team?”

    Reid: “Well, it’s complicated because of the lockout. I’m gonna go make a ham sandwich now… time’s yours.”

  5. tiredofthestupid says: Apr 21, 2011 5:05 PM

    @oldbyrd

    Really? That’s where you go with this? Nice and Classy.

    So, I will respond in kind:

    Unions aren’t doinking you and the everyday man like the big rich corporations are, big boy. But like an old prostitute, you just lay back, going along for the ride thinking your “rich john” is going to come to his senses, fall in love with you and give you your palace…

    Others aren’t so dumb.

  6. thereisalwaysnextyear says: Apr 21, 2011 5:07 PM

    Of course the league should allow them to have press conferences. The league wants the teams to sell as many tickets as possible. Heck why not make an exception that would allow teams to talk to all rookies/draft picks? It’s in the best interest of the teams AND the prospective players AND the league as a whole so they don’t miss an entire rookie class, or risk doing so.

  7. phelbin says: Apr 21, 2011 5:10 PM

    @oldbyrd, well said. This is not the the 1800’s, and these are not coal miners. They don’t need a union.

  8. steverkasi says: Apr 21, 2011 5:25 PM

    I can’t believe, that nobody of those league and player guys sees, how much damage this whole lockout thing brings to the NFL. It is getting worse and worse every day.

  9. thefiesty1 says: Apr 21, 2011 5:49 PM

    Judge Nelson may just postpone the draft until they get their little labor issues worked out or the lockout may also be lifted before the draft starts.

    Either way would be best for all parties.

  10. profootballwalk says: Apr 21, 2011 7:04 PM

    oldbyrd says: Apr 21, 2011 4:56 PM

    “Had enough of these communist Unions yet”

    In my day we worked six days a week, twelve hours a day, and we licked the owners boots just for the pleasure.

  11. drbandkgb says: Apr 21, 2011 7:29 PM

    Till they sign a contract I dont know how they are considered NFL players..

  12. galvestontexans says: Apr 21, 2011 7:40 PM

    i agree with drbandkgb . How can you be a player if you have never signed a nfl contract with the team that drafted you.

  13. idontcareuknow says: Apr 21, 2011 10:56 PM

    Without the union the NFL couldn’t function properly with all the anti-trust laws. Or so that is my understanding of the mess.

    With that said, a lot of unions have outlived their use. Sometimes, the big company isn’t screwing you over (safety is regulated by OSHA and other regulations are in place), but rather the union is.

  14. oldbyrd says: Apr 21, 2011 11:12 PM

    To tired and stupid Good handle for you. Profootball walk….keep walking. If you couldn’t pull yourself up then you deserve to kiss boots. I worked three jobs to make ends meet. Offered to me by owners who made it on their own. Unions represent those looking for the gateway to communism period. Finally no it alls with no brains…WHY ARE THEY FADING LIKE CIGAR SMOKE?. PEOPLE ARE SICK OF UNION DUES TO SUPPORT PEOPLE LIKE THE HARVARD MARXIST MORON. THATS A FACT . WATCH WISCONSIN ETC. PEOPLE ARE SICK OF UNIONS

  15. eaglesfan290 says: Apr 21, 2011 11:15 PM

    Ok, stupid question but since the Union decertified and the is no union for the rookies to join why is this an issue? I would think they don’t become due paying members of a union till the lockout is over and as such could be allowed to have contact with the team! I mean the rookies are kinda in limbo no contract, a team, but not part of any union.

    If the Union claims they are members doesn’t that prove decertification is a sham?

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