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At least one agent wants no draft at all

Peyton Manning Getty Images

We’ve recently been pointing out the fact — and it is a fact, not speculation or supposition — that the pending antitrust lawsuits against the NFL filed by current, former, and future players seek to overturn the draft.  But the current players have not yet said whether they believe there should be a draft, whether they believe there shouldn’t be a draft, or whether they believe there should be a draft but they’re willing to tolerate the lawyers’ arguments against a draft for leverage purposes.

Privately, agents have been communicating to us each of those opinions.  At least one agent publicly has taken the position that there should be no draft.

Why should there even be a draft?” Brian Ayrault said last night on Twitter, in response to one of our stories on the subject.  “Players should be able to choose who they work for and where they live. . . .  No draft would also help prospects choose the best roster situations.  Market should determine the value of all contracts.”

But what of the notion that having a draft and limits on free agency and a salary cap ensures competitive balance?

“Competitive balance is a fallacy,” Ayrault said.  “The success of teams is determined by good ownership and scouting.  Period.”

Ayrault also pointed out in support of his position that, in the last decade, nine different MLB franchises have won the World Series, while only seven different NFL franchise have won the Super Bowl.

That’s the real fallacy.  It’s not the champion that determines competitive balance, but the pool of teams that have a realistic shot at becoming the champion.  In baseball, a very real sense exists that only a handful of teams every year have a legitimate chance at winning the World Series, and those teams usually separate from the pack by Memorial Day.  In Pittsburgh, the hapless Pirates haven’t even sniffed a playoff appearance since 1992, with 19 straight losing seasons and counting.

In the NFL, the devices for ensuring competitive balance have created a situation in which the fans of every team can fashion a plausible path from 0-0 to Lombardi Trophy, even if less than a fourth of the league has completed the journey in the past decade.

After the free agency system with restrictions and a salary cap took root in the mid-1990s, ending the Cowboys-and-49ers domination of the league, the NFL became much more competitive, much more compelling, much more interesting, and much more popular.

Since 1996, 18 teams have rebounded in one offseason from the bottom to the top of their division:  the 1996-97 Giants, the 1998-99 Rams, the 1998-99 Colts, the 1999-2000 Saints, the 2000-01 Patriots, the 2000-01 Bears, the 2002-03 Chiefs, the 2002-03 Panthers, the 2003-04 Chargers, the 2003-04 Falcons, the 2004-05 Buccaneers, the 2004-05 Bears, the 2005-06 Saints, the 2005-06 Eagles, the 2006-07 Buccaneers, the 2007-08 Dolphins, the 2008-09 Saints, and the 2009-10 Chiefs.  Three of those teams won the Super Bowl, and a fourth (the 2003 Panthers) qualified for the title game.

In the fourteen seasons prior to 1997, only five teams pulled off a worst-to-first one-year turnaround:  the 1986-87 Colts, the 1987-88 Bengals, the 1990-91 Broncos, the 1991-92 Chargers, and the 1992-93 Lions.

None won the Super Bowl.  (As a reader pointed out, the 1988 Bengals made it there, and almost won.)

So in the NFL competitive balance isn’t about the top of the league, but the bottom.  Even if teams like the Redskins and Cowboys wouldn’t be able to buy annual championships given the unique dynamics of a 53-man locker room with 11 players on the field at all times, an NFL with no draft, no limits on free agency, and no salary cap would make it harder for bad teams to get better — and easier for good teams to stay among the elite.  Though there may not be a franchise that wins four straight Super Bowls, there very well could be perennial losers like the Pirates, which would give rise to multiple apathetic fan bases that would, in time, diminish the game.

The best hope for the game comes from the possibility that the legal attack on the draft seeks only leverage, and that lawyer Jeffrey Kessler will be muzzled at the appropriate time.  Still, until the attack on the draft ends, a chance remains that the attack on the draft will succeed — especially if agents and players agree with Ayrault’s belief that there should be no draft.

We’re still waiting to hear whether current players believe there should be no draft.  And until we hear otherwise we’ll continue to assume that they don’t.

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122 Responses to “At least one agent wants no draft at all”
  1. austskate says: Apr 23, 2011 11:21 PM

    Who is this idiot? If they cancel the draft, they can cancel my NFL sunday ticket subscription as well, because I will not be watching. Luckily, this seems purely like a leverage maneuver, because no moron would actually be dumb enough to think they can cancel the draft. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  2. duanethomas says: Apr 23, 2011 11:21 PM

    Ayrault said. “The success of teams is determined by good ownership and scouting. Period.

    Thats the only thing I agree with……and Who is this guy?

  3. zn0rseman says: Apr 23, 2011 11:29 PM

    Translation: Agents and lawyers for the union think they’ll make more money without a draft, and it will happen at the destruction of the NFL and at the expense of 95% of the players. The only reason the players haven’t put an immediate halt to it is because most of them are completely out of touch with reality and/or have no perception of the reality of the business aspects of the game.

  4. jcdavey2011 says: Apr 23, 2011 11:32 PM

    agents are like ambulance chasing idiots

    no draft = maybe 3-4 teams who will always win the superbowl

    you think it’s bad with the steelers having 6, with no draft you’ll be seeing a celtics type run of 11 titles in a row with some large market team

  5. vmannj says: Apr 23, 2011 11:36 PM

    The NFL draft is a televised, three-day event…on two different networks. That equals advertising dollars to the league, which in turn, generates income for the players. If the players are fighting for money, why in the world would they want to put a stop to an event that generates revenue, which eventually filters into their pockets (well, at least some of it)?

    More proof that the lawyers are overstepping their bounds and are not truly representing the best interest of the players. It also proves that the players have very little clue as to the amount of wool the lawyers are actually pulling over their eyes.

  6. Cowboys-Forum says: Apr 23, 2011 11:37 PM

    This guy is an idiot,its an epic fail on his part.

  7. ndgarretjax says: Apr 23, 2011 11:39 PM

    question…..once a player is drafted are the teams allowed to even negotiate a contract with them?

  8. gnorules says: Apr 23, 2011 11:40 PM

    I think it’s truly sad to see that the downfall of the format of NFL football that we all love will and could come crashing down because of a bunch of self-serving lawyers and agents. I hope the players see that the only people agents and lawyers really care about is themselves and how much money they can put into their OWN pockets. We, the fans, want players to get paid and want teams to make money, but mostly we just want our game back in operation. Please fix it players and owners.

  9. mhs8031 says: Apr 23, 2011 11:40 PM

    Very sick of lawyers.

  10. ar1888 says: Apr 23, 2011 11:46 PM

    Without a draft the league will be more of a joke then it has already become.

  11. tubal22 says: Apr 23, 2011 11:48 PM

    I may be wrong, but can’t a college graduate opt to not enter the draft, and then sign as a free agent?

    Why don’t the agents just suggest to their clients to do that if it’s the best option?

  12. lostsok says: Apr 23, 2011 11:50 PM

    I think you’re analysis is spot on. “Parity” isn’t about every team going .500 every year…it’s about small markets not being wallet-blocked by big market teams.

    Yes, you can have a miserable franchise. All you have to do is make bad decisions (Matt Millen anyone?) for a few years in a row. But…even a horrible team can be turned around very, very fast with 1-2 years of GOOD decisions.

  13. theravenlives2 says: Apr 23, 2011 11:52 PM

    It always amazes me. MLB would give its left nut to be as popular as the NFL. Why is the NFL trying to turn into MLB?

    The players and the agents are so damn dumb that its incredible.

  14. 3crowns says: Apr 23, 2011 11:55 PM

    Mike – not sure why you think the draft is the be all end all, especially when those who actually understand the salary cap have acknowledged for years that the top several picks are actually a curse due to the amount of money that must be paid to sign them. You and a lot of fans may love the draft, but it is not a fair system for players. I think it would be great and a lot more interesting if there were no draft. And while players are not savvy enough to figure it out, if they actually understood the issue they would LOVE LOVE LOVE a system with no draft. Why wouldn’t they want to pick where to play and let teams bid for their service unhindered by the cap? You really think they wouldn’t wan this? Of course most of them don’t understand all the issues involved but this is one that if they did understand, they would most certainly be behind as it would be hugely beneficial to them. Not sure why you think otherwise.

  15. whoknowsnothing says: Apr 23, 2011 11:56 PM

    Of course he would, he is probrably the only one right now that realize’s how much money he could make if there was no draft.

    Just think about how much money he can make bringing in multiple players to one team in the offseason. Just like James, Bosh, and Wade got together and decided to sign with the Heat.

    How crazy would it be if Newton, J. Jones, P. Peterson, V. Miller and M. Dareus all have the same agent and went to the same team like the Cardinals or the Bills.

    Lets just hope they decide and keep it the way it is.

  16. jeff061 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:03 AM

    Yeah – let’s cancel the draft, give all the team ownership to the players and let them run the league with the agents

    Not sure what Brady, Brees and Manning were thinking when they attached their name to that lawsuit – but it just reiterates that the plAyers are pawns – not understanding how they are being manipulated by D. Smith et al

    The vision the players and their Attys have for the league is short sighted and shows their immense lack of business savvy

    Another example why I’m on the owners side. Common sense – a sustainable business – built to last – and built to be profitable-the way businesses are supposed to be

  17. howboutthemtexans says: Apr 24, 2011 12:03 AM

    “The success of teams is determined by good ownership and scouting. Period.” – True ONLY in the presence of the draft and free agency. Remove those, and even Jerry Jones might win another Super Bowl.

  18. sphyre17 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:05 AM

    Draft, salary cap, revenue sharing = all these ensure the wealth of talent gets shared around. Ironic that America’s most popular sport is, at it’s heart, socialist.

  19. poolninjasd says: Apr 24, 2011 12:14 AM

    No NFL Draft? …

    What the hell would Mel Kiper and his boy toy Todd McShay do???

  20. Rhode Island Patriots Fan says: Apr 24, 2011 12:14 AM

    The goal of competitive balance or parity in the league, which the NFL Draft is designed to promote, is precisely what makes this sport more attractive to follow than most. Strip away the college draft, salary cap, revenue sharing, etc., and we will be faced with the real prospect of a decidedly uneven playing field. As a fan of the New England Patriots, I just might like that. But more importantly, as a fan of the game, I would surely come to hate it.

  21. CKL says: Apr 24, 2011 12:16 AM

    I think that agent posts here! Forget the screen name, think it has a #15 in it but have seen that same “baseball has had 9 different WS winners” and a few other baseball related argument used here recently by a poster I have never seen here before the labor unrest.

  22. warhorse007 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:16 AM

    IF YOU CANCEL THE DRAFT, THEN YOU CAN CANCEL THE NFL FOR ALL I CARE.

    Id never watch again just on general principal, for ****ing up a great game.

    When the agents are running the show, time for me to leave. Punks…all of em.

    Agents who speak for no draft should be shot.

    With novacaine in their penises for life.

  23. commentcentral says: Apr 24, 2011 12:18 AM

    “Competitive balance is a fallacy,” Ayrault said.  “The success of teams is determined by good ownership and scouting.  Period.”

    Of course, scouting is greatly diminished without a draft. You could have the best scouts in the world, but if the players they’re high don’t want to play for you . . . you’re out of luck.

  24. possiblecabbage says: Apr 24, 2011 12:18 AM

    Anybody arguing “let’s do away with the draft [blah blah blah” simply doesn’t realize that this isn’t going to fly with the fans, so it’s inherently bad PR.

    The fact of the matter is that fans love the draft, because the draft gives everybody hope. Everybody gets a shot at getting one of the best 50 (or so) players coming out of college football, and even late round gems may be stars. The reason people love the draft? Because people also love college football, and as much as we may talk about how the NFL may be ruined by a lack of rules surrounding player acquisition… it’s hard to even imagine what college football would look like in this world.

    You think that college football as it stands is corrupt, and that college basketball is harmed by guys regularly leaving for the pros at the earliest opportunity? You don’t even want to imagine a world where the next Cam Newton is being shopped by his father between Mississppi State, Auburn, and the Washington Redskins. Just imagine: since college football players don’t have contracts, without rules governing player acquisition, college football players could be signed by an NFL team in the middle of the season. Your QB go down for the season in week 3? See what it will take to pry Andrew Luck away from his education. Remember if NFL teams were to collectively agree on things like “let’s not sign high school kids” or “let’s not sign guys in the middle of the college football season”, that would be collusion and illegal in Kessler’s world.

    A world without a draft would be terrible, not just because I love the draft, and not just because I love professional football, but because I love college football as well and college football stands to lose more than anything if Kessler gets his way.

  25. possiblecabbage says: Apr 24, 2011 12:24 AM

    “tubal22 says: Apr 23, 2011 11:48 PM

    I may be wrong, but can’t a college graduate opt to not enter the draft, and then sign as a free agent?”

    You are incorrect. Every outgoing college senior is automatically eligible for the NFL draft. It’s not an “opt-in” situation, if a team wants to draft you they can, but that’s really just tantamount to a job offer and you can turn it down and go do something other than football. The only people who have to “declare” for the draft are people who have eligibility left but would like to enter into the NFL early. The NFL, as a courtesy to the NCAA, has agreed to not allow a player with remaining eligibility to be drafted unless he indicates that he would like to be considered for the draft. Since college football is basically a free farm system for the NFL, it’s important that the NFL stays on good terms with the NCAA.

  26. atwatercrushesokoye says: Apr 24, 2011 12:25 AM

    I wonder how this agent will feel when his bottom clients are looking at making $40,000 per year and not the minimum $300,000 that they make now.

    Surely if this agent were in favor of a true free market system he would have no problem with the minimum salary being minimum wage, 3 weeks vacation time (I assume teams will reassign there employees appropriately when there’s no games, maybe ticket office or grounds crew) and the fact that if your client isn’t meeting the production quota his team thinks is appropriate then he can be fired without any “guarantees” that are in current contracts.

    Something tells me the NFLPA* and agents only want a true free market system that includes the things that will benefit them, the negative aspects will be considered “unfair labor practices”.

  27. ggeden says: Apr 24, 2011 12:28 AM

    I’m all for the cancellation of the draft.

  28. glen1904 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:35 AM

    so the owners were smart enough to get TV contracts that made sure that they would get paid even though their was NO football this year but they had no idea that when they insisted another billion off the top an 18 game schedule with only one more roster spot a rookie salary cap etc. that this wouldn’t end up in court in an anti-trust law suit???? you want to believe they are that stupid??? yet they are so smart in other areas of business they just completely overlooked that would happen? yeah right!
    the owners are the ones that want to get rid of the draft, caps etc. and change because they must think they can control themselves and the rest of the owners and double or triple profits.

  29. mayfieldroadboy says: Apr 24, 2011 12:52 AM

    I’m sure if there is no draft, there will be a maximum pay-scale and a minimum pay-scale. There will also be a constraint on the amounts of money each team can spend on players, thus making it the same-old-same-old. High priced players will reap the rewards while the depth players will get the left-over crumbs spilled by the hogs at the trough. And I’m sure that no agent wants to have his income curtailed by a maximum pay scale. The NFL owners, except for a few ego maniacs like Jones and Snyder, do not want their teams to have astronomical salaries piling up with each April “college coming-out day” and free agents barking their wares like an old time huckster. Agents ruining the NFL? Just look at the lobbyists in DC to see how this country has been turned inside out. Greed is good, says Gordon Gecko; it is also a cancer that culls the herd.

  30. eezyxyz says: Apr 24, 2011 12:53 AM

    “In the fourteen seasons prior to 1997, only five teams pulled off a worst-to-first one-year turnaround: the 1986-87 Colts, the 1987-88 Bengals, the 1990-91 Broncos, the 1991-92 Chargers, and the 1992-93 Lions.

    None won the Super Bowl; indeed, not a single one even played in the Super Bowl.”

    Actually, the 1988 Bengals did play in the Superbowl, losing narrowly to the 49ers.

    The agent is correct. The salary cap is what creates competitive balance – the draft does not. The draft is and always has been about holding down player salaries by eliminating competition for the players’ services. Besides, the best players from college would likely often go to the lousy teams anyway, just because that’s where they’d have the best chance to play. You think any of the top QBs coming out of college this year want to go play for the current champion Packers where they can sit on the bench behind Aaron Rodgers for the next decade? Course not, they want to go somewhere they can actually play some time soon.

    Get rid of the draft, but keep a salary cap in place. Teams can decide for themselves whether they want to spend a lot of money on college players or on veterans.

  31. kissbillsrings says: Apr 24, 2011 1:02 AM

    newly drafted players can only talk with the team that drafted them until the draft is over then all communication must halt between the two parties….so, no, no contracts will be done in answer to the question above….besides, if a rookie cap is installed as part of any new CBA it will probably be retroactive to this draft….

  32. jstrizzle says: Apr 24, 2011 1:06 AM

    I like how he argues for no draft and then compares it to a sport that does in fact feature a draft.

  33. footballfanatic3431 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:08 AM

    “Why should there even be a draft?”

    Because it is the one time during the off season that fans get excited. Without an NFL Draft, interest in the NFL is going to diminish greatly. It is no longer sport you watch year round just like college football.

    “Players should be able to choose who they work for and where they live. . . . No draft would also help prospects choose the best roster situations. ”

    So basically what you’re saying is that players should be able to go to the best teams if they want and there shouldn’t be any balance. If everyone wants to go to New England, Pittsburgh, and Green Bay then that’s there right. Who cares that that the sport becomes boring and uncompetitive? Who cares that the owners are paying millions and billions of dollars on stadium costs and staffing? At least the players get what they want.

    “Market should determine the value of all contracts.”

    Really? Are you sure about that? Because I’m pretty sure that the owners are going to stop offering players 16 million dollar contracts. It will be more like 4 million dollar contracts and if you don’t like it, good luck finding an owner who will pay you more. Do you think the owners are going to keep offering the absurd amounts they have been? You’ll be lucky if they continue to offer a quarter of what they have been. They will dictate how much each position is paid. 4 year 24 million dollar contracts just became 4 year 9 million dollar contracts and if you don’t like it, tough. You should have collectively bargained.

    So lets recap:

    You want to take away the one off season football event that fans love, you want to ruin the sport by making the talent level of the teams totally imbalanced, and you want to make yourself less money by letting the market dictate your clients contract.

    Yup, this dude is an idiot.

  34. packerswambulance says: Apr 24, 2011 1:10 AM

    this would be another, and possibly biggest, nail in the coffin.

  35. odessabucs says: Apr 24, 2011 1:13 AM

    The business model in place now brings in $9 billion + a year to the league, with more in the cards for the future.

    To make fundamental change to that model will surely risk the “cash cow” to the players and owners … and severely impact the national fan base.

  36. thekingdave says: Apr 24, 2011 1:16 AM

    Wouldn’t a team’s owner and scouting department be irrelevant if there was no draft and all elite prospects could sign on the line with the team in the biggest market? Moron.

  37. tbd3 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:23 AM

    “Ayrault also pointed out in support of his position that, in the last decade, nine different MLB franchises have won the World Series, while only seven different NFL franchise have won the Super Bowl.”

    The MLB has a draft, too…

  38. tbd3 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:26 AM

    No one who wants to do away with the draft is looking out for the good of the NFL, no one.

  39. tbd3 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:27 AM

    ^ Or for the happiness of the fans.

  40. kissbillsrings says: Apr 24, 2011 1:30 AM

    I am so pi$$ed at the players right now….they have had it great for so long they’ve forgotten what the players before them went through to achieve what they had….IF they succeed at eliminating the draft,free agency restictions franchise tags & the salary cap(all the things that have made the game enjoyable for so many of us fans) the competative balance will go away & so will this fan…..I’m just blown away that the players are really that stupid to not see & understand that….of course an agent would say something stupid like this, he only cares about himself…..do the players understand that only a small amount of them will get mega dollars & the rest will get the scraps left over????!!! & yes, big market teams will be the winners & possibly smaller markets will fold in the not too distant future….this is FUBAR!!!!!

  41. seanx40 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:32 AM

    Not only would the NFL really be awful with no draft, and total free agency…it would kill college football. Good college players would just leave in the middle of seasons for the pros. No college game would be worth watching after early October.

  42. david7590 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:33 AM

    @tubal22

    Thats not correct. They either need be drafted in the April Draft, go undrafted in the April Draft, be drafted in the Supplementary Draft, or go undrafted in the Supplementary Draft.

  43. cappa662 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:40 AM

    He’s actually right. The draft is so socialist. The market should determine your value, not a stupid draft.

  44. bernie19kosar says: Apr 24, 2011 1:41 AM

    The fact that an agent thinks this is a good idea, makes me think it’s a bad one.

  45. axespray says: Apr 24, 2011 1:53 AM

    Can’t we pull a “French Revolution” type thing where we run around and put people in guillotines?
    That French Chick: “Let’em watch football!”

  46. weswelkerspornstash says: Apr 24, 2011 2:11 AM

    Maybe Kessler is a Bengals fan… They can’t draft worth a Damn….

  47. usmc47 says: Apr 24, 2011 2:14 AM

    all repubs should be cheering this guy on. the nfl, as presently constructed, is pure socialism.
    just sayin…

  48. buffalodiehard says: Apr 24, 2011 2:17 AM

    What good is having a top-notch scouting department if you can’t compete financially?

    You’d see the Redskins and Cowboys fight over the top 15 players in this draft and I don’t care if you have the best scouts in the world you can’t compete with that.

  49. MikeHolmgren'sChins says: Apr 24, 2011 2:35 AM

    No Draft??? I got news for you, Buddy! The NFL calls it “PARITY”. Google “Pete Rozelle” if you do not understand the concept!

  50. dennis2488 says: Apr 24, 2011 2:39 AM

    first of all let me say that all pro sports are better with a draft. with that said the guy makes a valid point. if a surgeon or an accounting wants to find a job they dont have to enter a draft. if all the companies controlled which workers had to work wherever they were told it would hinder our liberty and freedom. the thing that makes the nfl draft okay is the fact that workers had a contract with the owners. the owners terminated the contract. now its just 32 seperate businesses colluding to decide where its workers must go.

  51. neverend1 says: Apr 24, 2011 2:46 AM

    It’s stunning how a league, just a few months was ago was experiencing a boom in popularity, is now closing in on becoming an utter failure

  52. tamvu says: Apr 24, 2011 2:54 AM

    would love to do away with agents and lawyers instead. this idiot ambulance chaser will never understand the competitive, integrity in sports. looking to squeeze every last dime out of his clients, seeing nothing but the bottom dollar, he fails to see that there’s an inherent honor in professional athleticism because, yes they’re getting paid to play dumb kids games. “why can’t my clients choose where they want to work?” how bout because it’s honorable to allow bottom feeding teams the advantage? Competitive advantage most definitely maintained through good ownership and scouting, but this idiot scout inferring that good ownership = shelling out as much money as possible to make his clients happy and then they’ll prostitute themselves is missing the point of sports in general. As a fan of losing teams throughout the years, i know that at the end of each season, there’s an enthusiasm and solace knowing that we’ll be in position to improve through the draft only if done intelligently. And that’s what it (sports) should really be about in the end, making the fans happy. I get it, ‘athletes have a skillset and market/supply and demand blah blah bs’. In the end, you’re making enough to guarantee a good life for you and all future generations. Just suck it up and do it for the fans.

  53. lawyermalloy says: Apr 24, 2011 3:03 AM

    2nd tier agents such as Brian Ayrault, with NO “first round” players are always going to be in favor of “No Draft”!

  54. bworacle says: Apr 24, 2011 3:55 AM

    Why stop at ending the draft, free agency, and salary caps? With 32 separate businesses say goodbye to REVENUE SHARING as well. You think there is a discrepancy between the HAVES and HAVE NOTS now, wait until the feeding frenzy for revenue.

    Now we can have the Dallas Cowboys Network, the New England Patriots Network, the Green Bay Packers Network, and the Pittsburg Steelers Network with the remaining teams joining the Not A Chance in Hell of a Championship TV Network.

  55. winterbengal says: Apr 24, 2011 3:56 AM

    Well… It could really possibly go the other way people. I mean these are the owners who brought in scabs, andmade the players strike to get paid anything. It is not beyond the realm of possibility that the NFL owners collectively start paying just a bit over the CFL and Arena football salaries.

    And there is nothing a non-union could really do to stop it, other than saying its collusion, but is it collusion when they are still paying more than their competitors for the same service? If it is I should be able to sue my previous company for taking my job over-seas… Of course it will be collusion, but knowing it and proving it’s just not the NFL franchises trying to save some money, is a whole different thing.

  56. jtfris says: Apr 24, 2011 4:40 AM

    If they succeed in killing the competitive balance of the league, I will spend as much on the NFL as I do on baseball…nothing.

  57. jtfris says: Apr 24, 2011 4:42 AM

    I also will spend next to no time on sites like this. I may not represent the majority of fans, but I bet it is a significant minority. The advertisers might want to know that a lot of people think like this.

  58. footballfan292 says: Apr 24, 2011 4:45 AM

    There is an old fable by Aesop where a goose lays a golden egg every day. But that golden egg wasnt enough for the farmer and his wife. They think there must be a huge chunk of gold inside. So they kill the goose in order to get that gold, only to find no gold, and the goose is like every other goose. And now they have nothing.

    The point? The owners and players BOTH have decided that one gold egg a day isn’t enough. They’ve become overtaken by greed. And they are now in the process of killing the goose. And yes, the courts will allow them to kill the goose if that is what they really want. The court’s job is to rule on the law. It’s not the court’s job to make sure the NFL has parity.

    Don’t get fooled by either side. The owners are not starving. No franchise is in danger of bankruptcy. The NFL is more profitable now than it has ever been even in the middle of a global recession. On the flip side, the players can’t manage their money no matter how much they get. 70% are bankrupt within a few years of retirement.

    Who deserves to have more money? I dont know. And I really don’t care. The fact that grown men can’t figure out how to divide up $9 billion in a fair manner, and how both sides are willing to destroy their cash cow, shows exactly why greed is a deadly sin.

  59. ursushorribilis says: Apr 24, 2011 4:51 AM

    Hmm….why are we surprised that greedy agents want to cash in with the desperate teams (in the short term) and give a RAT’S ASS if the League goes under in 5-10 years?…heck, they will be retired in Sarasota with their yachts watching golf on television…..

    It is all ABOUT THE MONEY….greedy agents and players could give a SHEET if the League goes belly-up in a few years…they don’t love football…they love MONEY….

    Hire replacement players….get rid of the agents and the greedy players….

  60. megabeast37215 says: Apr 24, 2011 5:06 AM

    A player must make himself eligible to be drafted at least once before entering the NFL. This has been a rule for entering the league for some time. If he goes through the draft undrafted, he is then an unrestricted free agent.

  61. spfripp says: Apr 24, 2011 5:22 AM

    What make the NFL the number one sport in the nation is that there is always hope that your team could turn things around in an offseason and become a winning team. It is why the draft has huge ratings and it is why free agency is closely followed by fans. You take away the draft, you take away hope, you loss the fans.

    This guy obviously has no passion for the game. It is a business to him and if I was a player I wouldn’t want him as my agent because it is obvious he does not have the players best interest at heart.

  62. yellowxdiscipline says: Apr 24, 2011 5:24 AM

    at least one agent is fishing for a little publicity….

  63. davesbeard says: Apr 24, 2011 5:27 AM

    It would be very interesting to crunch some numbers and work out average salaries and the growth of average salaries pre and post free agency/the cap. I would imagine that would come out in favour of the free agency model but seeing the numbers would be insightful. No idea where you would get said numbers mind.

  64. thebion says: Apr 24, 2011 6:37 AM

    Unless this guy, whoever he is, happens to have a stack of blue-chip prospects lining up to sign on the dotted line I think he’ll be unpleasantly surprised when all the top incoming players sign up with the big agencies like CAA and he’s left negotiating contracts for a bunch of bench warmers and earning himself 3% of jack.

  65. warmachine2112 says: Apr 24, 2011 6:57 AM

    “Market should determine the value of all contracts.”

    Translation:

    “Market should determine the value of my percentage for doing, in essence, bugger all.”

  66. southridge23 says: Apr 24, 2011 7:30 AM

    if players has a choice as to where they wanted to live, and play…we can kiss buffalo, cleveland, jacksonville, minnesota, cinci, st louis, and probably another half dozen teams

  67. gbfanforever says: Apr 24, 2011 7:33 AM

    The guy sounds like he went to the Ayn Rand school of player representation.

  68. Patriot42 says: Apr 24, 2011 7:46 AM

    Why should there even be a league. If there were no NFL we would soon be adjusted to be watching only high school and college games. Those that did attend college would probably stay to graduate and we would have to build bigger prisons to contain those that normally would have been coddled and protected but now have to get out of trouble by themselves.

  69. bushdoctor504 says: Apr 24, 2011 7:49 AM

    On Ayrault :”This guy is an idiot, its an epic fail on his part” – good

    “…the agents are so damn dumb that it’s incredible.” – good

    this whole situation is so wack! but for the record, the OWNERS bear the blunt of the blame even though the posturing on both sides has been Exceptional… it all makes me sick! I’m obsessed with football, and i aint watching the draft… NBA playoffs starting to get intense!!! the NFL is taking the fans for granted!

  70. 1stngoal says: Apr 24, 2011 8:01 AM

    If the continued success of this League ever comes to an end, it won’t be at the hands of the owners or players. It will be the lawyers.

    Sorry Mike.

  71. Kave Krew says: Apr 24, 2011 8:06 AM

    The issue is – how does the $9 Billion get shared……not what we need to fix etc…

    Keep things as they are…..tweak here and there…….and figure out how to split Billions of dollars….

  72. claydefayette says: Apr 24, 2011 8:19 AM

    An agen doesn’t want the draft because he won’t receive as much money due to the salary scale. What a surprise

  73. jimmysee says: Apr 24, 2011 8:22 AM

    Of course agents want to get rid of the draft. And horses want more hay. Not exactly news.

  74. channel124 says: Apr 24, 2011 8:31 AM

    Happy Easter! This agent just left an egg-shaped turd on our collective floor.

  75. franktherat96 says: Apr 24, 2011 8:38 AM

    All this proves is that at least one agent is an idiot.

  76. cosmos66 says: Apr 24, 2011 8:40 AM

    jeff061 says:
    Apr 24, 2011 12:03 AM
    Yeah – let’s cancel the draft, give all the team ownership to the players and let them run the league with the agents

    Not sure what Brady, Brees and Manning were thinking when they attached their name to that lawsuit – but it just reiterates that the plAyers are pawns – not understanding how they are being manipulated by D. Smith et al

    Point i would like to make here, is that the 4 people mentioned above are probally the richest in the NFL(not counting the owners). But only 1 of them has been to any of the neg sessions. Poor choices by the union to represent the lawsuit. They have nothing to lose

  77. buckybadger says: Apr 24, 2011 8:44 AM

    The draft is fine. You aren’t doomed if you have a top pick if you have competent people. The Lions themselves are proof of this. When they had Matt Millen they plenty of opportunity to succeed but couldn’t dig themselves out because of incompetence in the front office. Now that they are making good picks they look like a team that will battle for the playoffs and the future is bright [if Stafford can stay healthy of course].

    I guess Bradford and Suh are ruining their franchises. Don’t blame the system because your team drafted Russel. Any talk of something that gives competent run teams competitive balance is short sighted. The fans love the draft and the hope it brings their team.

    I am for shaving off some of the top salaries in the draft but I also think that money should be reallocated to the rookie class, at least most of it anyways. The problem with the CBA negotiations is that there are 3 class of people there. Its really Billionaires vs Millionaires and Guys with sweet jobs who unfortunately have to mature a lot faster than others to see their money after playing is done in 2014. 60% of the NFL never sees a second contract. Not saying raise the minimum but spread some of that money through the draft, rookie FAs excluded. If the union had any voice for these players they should be screaming that some of that money not just go to veteran players who already making more than comfortable retirement money.

  78. joedayan says: Apr 24, 2011 8:48 AM

    Each individual club should wind down as a corporation. They would retain the copyrights and trademarks in place. There should be no football for the upcoming season.

    The owners should then create a new entity with a new name. The new single entity would come back to life with each owner given an equal share.

    All players “hired” would be hired out of a single entity at a single location and placed with the team assigned. If the players don’t like it, they can go work somewhere else. Most of them aren’t qualified to be anything more than McDonald’s workers or ditch diggers anyway.

  79. thefiesty1 says: Apr 24, 2011 8:48 AM

    He just wants to double his agent percentage. With the draft and upcoming rookie wage scale he’ll lose money. That’s the only thing he wants to protect – his share of the “pie”.

    The league should decertify his agent status and go chase ambulances for a living.

    The only thing said is that teams with better owners have better teams. Well, DUH, that’s perfectly obvious. That’ll always be the case.

    If a player doesn’t like the team or city that drafted him just don’t sign a contract and DON’T play. Go to work wherever you like with a career other than football.

  80. lawyermalloy says: Apr 24, 2011 8:53 AM

    Without a draft and without a salary cap the league will die a slow death!

  81. shaslers says: Apr 24, 2011 8:56 AM

    How do these idiots become agents? Isn’t there a test or something. Ayrault Tweets,

    “Players should be able to choose who they work for and where they live. . . . No draft would also help prospects choose the best roster situations.”

    B.S.

    Players have a choice already. Their prospective employer, the NFL, lets them know where they have a position open for them, and the player can choose to accept it or they can choose to continue their job search with other corporations. No one is forcing them to accept the position the NFL is offering to them in, say, Cleveland, if they don’t want to go to Cleveland. They also can refuse to accept that position if they don’t like the contract that the Cleveland branch of the NFL is offering them.

    If you or I want a job with, say, IBM, and they make you an offer to work in Rochester, do you tell the employer, no way! I get to tell you where I will be working for you? Absurd. No, if you don’t like Rochester you interview elsewhere. Ayrault is free to talk to the CFL or Arena League if he doesn’t like where the NFL is offering jobs to his clients.

    And yet that is absurd sense of entitlement some agents and players think they deserve. These comments are as stupid as Adrian Peterson comparing a job in the NFL to “modern-day slavery.”

  82. lesbuckets says: Apr 24, 2011 9:04 AM

    I am already so sick of this crap… bring in the replacement players. No one can ever get me to believe that the players give two licks about the fans. They drive up the ticket prices, and pat themselves on the backs. We still cheer like idiots. I for one will spend the entire season hoping Brees and the alike, get broken in half by a D lineman with a fraction of the talent a Brees has. (The guy who had to bust his butt for 10+ years just to get on the field in the NFL, the guy we actually respect as fans.) Whoever that is… please remove the silver spoon from his mouth for me, and feel free to find another orafice to gently insert it into. You’ll know it’s the right guy, it’s the guy who “fights for the players before them” … yeah, the players who had talent but again had to bust their tails to get this league where it is. The guy who works hard and thinks this is what got them where they are, as if, the rest of us don’t work hard at our jobs. Trust me, if the owners are ready to play hardball… the fans will follow. We, the fans, actually work hard everyday in our fields also, so we can shell out too much money to see the spoiled athletes tell us how difficult they have it! Tired of it all… I’m with the owners and the Commish, because I actually believe they care about the league’s success and the fans that supply it!

  83. dkrause71 says: Apr 24, 2011 9:11 AM

    eezyxyz says: Apr 24, 2011 12:53 AM
    Besides, the best players from college would likely often go to the lousy teams anyway, just because that’s where they’d have the best chance to play. You think any of the top QBs coming out of college this year want to go play for the current champion Packers where they can sit on the bench behind Aaron Rodgers for the next decade? Course not, they want to go somewhere they can actually play some time soon.

    —————————————————
    I don’t think this is remotely correct. Why will you see a USC able to sign four of the top six RBs in one year, when a Wisconsin is lucky if they get one of those type once every four years? They clearly could get more playing time if they all went to a different school but instead they all want to play for a power and only leave once they are the odd man out.

    Without a draft it will be a mix of the situation above and current FA is for many. Teams in crappy weather, smaller cities will suffer to sign players. Places like Dallas would thrive and places like Green Bay will struggle. GB would have to clearly overpaid to get anyone to come which generally is the case now, and why they build thru the draft so heavy. The player would have to be dying for playing time to come to Green Bay for a legit wage.

    The league needs the draft, even baseball knows they need a draft. They know they need it so badly they even give bonus #1s for losing players.

  84. realitypolice says: Apr 24, 2011 9:16 AM

    Every agent in the world wishes there was no draft.

    And I wish I had a money tree in my back yard.

    I’ll get my money tree before that agent gets his draftless NFL.

    The author of this article is being disingenuous. As a former lawyer, he knows full well that extreme concepts like eliminating the draft and free agency rules are only being pushed now to allow room for a settlement later.

    It’s very simple. If you’re a teenager and you want 10 dollars, you ask your parents for 20.

    It’s the most basic concept in the world, and applies to every negotiation ever undertaken.

    But go ahead and keep pushing the no-more-draft hysteria. Sure does keep things interesting.

  85. jlinatl says: Apr 24, 2011 9:18 AM

    Most agents would probably like to end the draft… it would make them more powerful.

  86. igglesfan9 says: Apr 24, 2011 9:19 AM

    Maybe someone could elaborate on the legal basis for conducting this year’s draft – something I haven’t yet seen covered. I mean, if players can’t be cut, traded, or signed as free agents during the lockout, how is it possible for the league to conduct a draft and to assign the bargaining rights of college students to teams?

  87. 23chameleons says: Apr 24, 2011 9:34 AM

    I can’t believe this guy talks for a living and yet can be so moronic. Yes, a player CAN choose where he plays. If he a) fails to get drafted he can sign with whichever team who has a mutual interest or b) when he does his 4 years and earns his right to free agency. But as others have pointed out, the draft is about competitive balance (at least in theory). Scouting DOES play a large part, which is why the teams with a bad record are put at the top of the draft, to maximize their chance of getting the most likely to succeed in the NFL players (do you hear that, Mike Brown ?). This isn’t the first guy in the last week to point out that MLB has had 9 different teams win the championship in the last 10 years but has failed to mention how MLB has a draft, has a developmental league and can restrict player movement just like the NFL. The only things MLB has that the NFL doesn’t is truly guaranteed contracts (i.e. “dead money” if he gets injured or doesn’t live up to his contract … see: Bob Sanders, Albert Haynesworth), a lack of a hard cap (wth is a “luxury tax” ?) and half the teams having ANY chance of winning the championship. That’s fine when it’s YOUR team that’s always in the running (Yankees) but sucks when team has essentially been eliminated by the All-Star game (ex. my Houston Astros). But what does an agent care, he gets paid either way …

  88. packerfantastic says: Apr 24, 2011 10:01 AM

    If the judge, or whoever rules on this issues, does indeed determine that the draft and other rules around player movement are illegal, wouldn’t this ruling need to be universally applied to all sports where they conduct a draft and have rules around player movement? How could they rule that it is illegal for the NFL to have a draft but still allow the NBA, MLB, and NHL to have a draft?

  89. EJ says: Apr 24, 2011 10:14 AM

    Ayrault also pointed out in support of his position that, in the last decade, nine different MLB franchises have won the World Series, while only seven different NFL franchise have won the Super Bowl.

    Yeah, this last decade may be true, but go back to when MLB started and look at what teams won championships. Its not a big mixture, bacically the same teams won every year.

    Having the draft gives the bad weather, small market teams the same shot as any other team to have a shot at taking home a championship.

    If you were a player, wouldn’t you want to play in nice weather in a beutiful stadium for a team that is loaded with stars? I would. so if we got rid of the draft, teams like Dallas and Miami would be in the superbowl every year. How boring would that be?

    This scout is an idiot because he would be taking a chance on losing his job because without a draft, scouting would be used much less.

  90. SpartaChris says: Apr 24, 2011 10:16 AM

    Full disclosure- I think this guy is an idiot. The draft model works. Why fix what isn’t broken?

    However, there is a simple solution if they seriously want to give up the draft: Keep the salary cap.

    The problem with Baseball is there is no cap, allowing for a free for all. If you allow a free-market system where players can choose and negotiate the best deals for themselves, but you keep the salary cap, teams like Washington and Dallas won’t be able to continuously buy the top talent each and every year without jettisoning some of their more experienced players. This would flood the market with experienced talent that could be used to build a pretty good team elsewhere.

  91. ggeden says: Apr 24, 2011 10:31 AM

    let me rephrase my previous answer so people understand what i mean, and try to picture it before knocking it….

    Not having a draft would be a better model if there were restrictions/CBA in place.

    A non-draft auction-type process would be a lot more interesting and imo a better situation for players and even teams.

    You have CBA, salary cap, rules around free agency and college (players have to complete their programs before being eligible for the NFL) etc.

    I know I’ll see dozens of thumbs-down, but I do think that would be a nice model.

  92. norton20 says: Apr 24, 2011 10:33 AM

    Tell you what Mr. Ayrault, let’s agree to total free agency for all players regardless of years of service and no draft. In exchange, there can be no contracts longer than 1 year, including rookies and there is a hard salary cap (no proration). Better stay out of jail boys, better not get hurt boys, better perform OR ELSE boys.

  93. recoveryboys says: Apr 24, 2011 10:33 AM

    It should never have come to this.
    NFL owners were were filling their buckets full of money from TV ,attendance,and product licensing revenues while the economy was tanking,and then they opted out of the deal that was working for them,just so they could possibly make MORE MORE MORE.
    The owners GREED opened all of these moronic doors we now see.

  94. 6thsense79 says: Apr 24, 2011 10:56 AM

    I think all you guys commenting and the writer of this article are putting way too much importance on the draft’s impact to the competative balance in the NFL.

    The real reason why there is competative balance in the NFL are:

    1. The hard salary cap that prevents teams from basically buy teams.
    2. Franchise tags and restricted free agent designations that allow teams to hold on to their key players prevent said players from testing their true value in the free market.
    3. Revenue sharing.

    The agent was absolutely correct that good management and front office personnel are way more important then the draft.

    For example think of all the perinially competitve teams such as the Giants, Ravens, Colts, Patriots, Pirates, Eagles, etc…….Most of those teams rarely if ever have the top picks in the draft yet by excellent scouting, coaching, front office, and free agent decisions they have stayed competitive year after year despite not having the high draft picks perinially average to bad teams like the Raiders, Lions, 49ers, Redskins, Browns, and untill recently the Chiefs.

    You notice that the great front office teams are able to identify and draft the best players for their system no matter where they fall in draft positions while the perinially poor teams are not able to do so no matter where they fall.

    Look at some of the top players and where they were drafted……Aaron Rodgers low first round, Drew Brees I believe was a second round pick, Chris Johnson second round, Tom Brady 6th round, Ray Lewis low 1st round, Frank Gore 3rd round, Randy Moss low first round, Matt Cassell (yes pro bowl Matt Cassell) 7th round (and the second pro-bowl qb found in the 6th/7th round by New England or did their system make them?)………………………..

    If those players are getting drafted that low in the 1st round they’re more then likely not getting drafted by the lowly teams that normally draft high in the first round….they’re getting picked up by teams that are relatively sucessful.

    Without a draft all teams can decide if they want to dedicate a huge chunk of their salary cap money to Cam Newton or if they can get better value else where and because of the cap teams will have to decide how wisely to spend their limited dollars……..You can do like the Skins do in free agency and spend like a drunken sailor or you can do like the Patriots or Steelers and spend on value college free agents.

    ………………………..Now if you tell me you want do away with salary cap and the draft then that’s a game changer……The big money teams would rule. They could stockpile talents, make bad signings without being penalized in the form of a salary cap restricting them from erasing their mistake…..But do away with just the draft?…..How would that have a radical change on parity? I have yet to read any of the many post that would successfully address that question.

  95. buckeye2280 says: Apr 24, 2011 10:57 AM

    To the Poster about talking about Republicans:

    As a Republican myself I love the current system because i disagree with the supreme court. It is my opinion that the 32 teams are truly 1 entity. Each owner is purchasing 1/32 piece of the NFL ownership pie. To do away with this, means its not only baseballs system its baseballs system to the Nth degree. No draft nothing. Like someone else said, whats to stop a team from signing a player thats 5 games into the college season. Not only will this system screw over the NFL it has the potential to screw over the college game.

  96. tashkalucy says: Apr 24, 2011 10:59 AM

    Ayrault said. “The success of teams is determined by good ownership and scouting. Period.
    ________

    Correct.

    But if there is no draft, than the good players will all go play with their buddies like the NA is no doing, and who cares how good the ownership and scouting is when the players don’t sign there.

    The NFL is the last league where the owners, GM’s and coaches run the league. In the NBA the players decide whee to play and who their coach will be, and in MLB the agents try to get them to Boston or NYC because ESPN will give any player that plays in those cities more pub then stars get in the other cities.

    The NBA and MLB exists for the players and their agents, and the fans take what they’re given. The NFL is a fans last hope. The game is played for the fans.

  97. tommyf15 says: Apr 24, 2011 11:06 AM

    There’s no proof that the draft leads to parity. NONE.

    With a draft the worst team in the league (Carolina) can only acquire one of the 32 best players. Without a draft they could pick up two or more.

  98. pirate49 says: Apr 24, 2011 11:07 AM

    These lawyers just want to line their pockets with money. They care nothing about the players, the NFL, or especially the fans. They all have their own agenda and they will be the ones that will have the say in how the game is played. Sad….

  99. 6thsense79 says: Apr 24, 2011 11:23 AM

    atwatercrushesokoye says:
    Apr 24, 2011 12:25 AM
    I wonder how this agent will feel when his bottom clients are looking at making $40,000 per year and not the minimum $300,000 that they make now.

    Surely if this agent were in favor of a true free market system he would have no problem with the minimum salary being minimum wage, 3 weeks vacation time (I assume teams will reassign there employees appropriately when there’s no games, maybe ticket office or grounds crew) and the fact that if your client isn’t meeting the production quota his team thinks is appropriate then he can be fired without any “guarantees” that are in current contracts.

    Something tells me the NFLPA* and agents only want a true free market system that includes the things that will benefit them, the negative aspects will be considered “unfair labor practices”.
    ———————————————–
    Whatever….I also can’t believe there were so many people giving your coment a thumbs up as rediculous as it is. I guess you just pulled that $40,000 bottom line salary out you a*s since I didn’t see anywhere in your post how you actually came up with that number. The bottom line players will make whatever the market demands. It may be the $40,000 you pulled out of air or it may be in the $100,000′s of dollars. You don’t know and I don’t know the number. The agent in question is asking for market value and as long as the market is dictating the minimum salary and there isn’t collusion by teams to artificially keep salaries at a certain level then yes I actually believe the agent will be ok with it.

  100. harmcityhomer says: Apr 24, 2011 11:28 AM

    It is a pretty big stretch to credit the draft with competitve balance. The benefit of picking high is offset by the risk of a bust and the high cost.

    I think the reletive competitve balance the NFL has is more due to a 16 game schedule and 53 man roster. Any team can get hot enough to win 8-10 games if they stay healthy and have a favorable schedule/ weak division, but that does not mean every team has an equal shot of making the playoffs and winning it all.

    Many NFL teams have gone a decade or two without winning a playoff game or having consecutive winning seasons while others make the postseason just about every year and avg. 10 wins. Even with a hard cap there were teams that spent a lot more cash than others, but with very mixed results. Oakland, Washington and Dallas spent a lot more than average with average results. Last year KC and Tampa spent the least and won 10 games. The teams that seem to be in the SB hunt every year stay there without high draft picks or spending a ton in free agency.

    Competitive balance should not be the responsibility of the players, and it should not depend on a draft, which is clearly illegal without a CBA. In MLB over 162 games the big spenders are going to rise, but in the NFL with only 16 games and enough talent to go around, it is very unlikely that the bad teams would be much if any worse off than they are now.

  101. 6thsense79 says: Apr 24, 2011 11:32 AM

    tashkalucy says:
    Apr 24, 2011 10:59 AM
    Ayrault said. “The success of teams is determined by good ownership and scouting. Period.
    ________

    Correct.

    But if there is no draft, than the good players will all go play with their buddies like the NA is no doing, and who cares how good the ownership and scouting is when the players don’t sign there.

    The NFL is the last league where the owners, GM’s and coaches run the league. In the NBA the players decide whee to play and who their coach will be, and in MLB the agents try to get them to Boston or NYC because ESPN will give any player that plays in those cities more pub then stars get in the other cities.

    The NBA and MLB exists for the players and their agents, and the fans take what they’re given. The NFL is a fans last hope. The game is played for the fans.
    ———————————-
    tashkalucy ,
    I’m trying to make sense of your post. You said without a draft then NFL players will just play with their friends like the NBA players do yet the NBA definitely has a draft and this horrible phenomenom still occured…..How is that possible?
    Please stop and think before you post.

    The NBA, MLB, and NFL have vastly different and intricate systems and salary structures. I don’t think you posses the requisite knowledge to adequately compare and contrast them.

  102. ggeden says: Apr 24, 2011 11:35 AM

    6thsense79 says: Apr 24, 2011 10:56 AM

    I think all you guys commenting and the writer of this article are putting way too much importance on the draft’s impact to the competative balance in the NFL.

    The real reason why there is competative balance in the NFL are….{snip}

    —–

    Great post. Very detailed. That’s what I propose too and think it would be awesome.

  103. bcgreg says: Apr 24, 2011 11:50 AM

    @ jcdavey2011

    You might get a “celtics run”, but the NBA had a draft back then. What the other teams DIDN’T have was Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, who wasn’t even the 1st pick in his draft. Red promised the owner of St Louis (?) the Ice Capades if he passed on Russell.

    Look how many lottery picks the Clippers have had. Look how many years in a row the Clippers have been in the lottery. Last I checked, LA is a big market. It’s been ownership (Sterling) and scouting (Olawokandi 1st overall? WTF?).

    The draft gives teams a chance at fielding a good team (or at least closing the “talen” gap). It’s ownership and management that determine if they can put a good team together and KEEP a good team together. Ridding any of these leagues of their drafts would ruin that opportunity. It’s not equal results. It’s equal opportunity. Small market teams would disappear without the draft.

  104. 6thsense79 says: Apr 24, 2011 11:56 AM

    buckeye2280 says:
    Apr 24, 2011 10:57 AM
    To the Poster about talking about Republicans:

    As a Republican myself I love the current system because i disagree with the supreme court. It is my opinion that the 32 teams are truly 1 entity. Each owner is purchasing 1/32 piece of the NFL ownership pie. To do away with this, means its not only baseballs system its baseballs system to the Nth degree. No draft nothing. Like someone else said, whats to stop a team from signing a player thats 5 games into the college season. Not only will this system screw over the NFL it has the potential to screw over the college game.
    ————————-
    Wrong……Each owner is purchasing an individual team/franchise with their own individual financial records. The only way the NFL can legally function as a single entity is if there is a CBA in place thus protecting them from lawsuits and allowing them to enjoy limited protection from the Sherman Anti trust act. Not only has the supreme court ruled this but numerous lower courts have offered up the same ruling.

    Whenever any league is challenged on anti-trust issues they almost always lose.

    The supreme court ruling in the American needle vs. the NFL case (A 9-0 ruling at that. Do you know how rare a 9-0 supreme court ruling is? Especially against business in a supreme court many feel is as conservative as any in recent memory)….that ruling esentially says unequivocally that the 32 teams are individual entities.

    The one major case the league was able to win heads up was the case involving Maurice Clarett suing for early entry. The only reason the league was able to prevail was because the league had a CBA in place with the Union that protected it from such suites.

  105. tashkalucy says: Apr 24, 2011 11:56 AM

    6thsense79,

    My post makes total sense but I didn’t want to write a book.

    The NFL draft work fine when you mix it with how they approach free agency. In the NBA a team losing a star player to free agency gets nothing. In MLB the team gets a draft choice that more often than not never even makes the major leagues. And both sports have “trade deadlines” where every year star players in their walk year are shopped in mid-season so their existing teams get something for them. And those rumors are more important than the season. In the NFL the games are what counts from day one.

    The draft works with the way the NFL handle free agency to assure that owners, GM’s and coaches control their teams.

    But to my initial point……he agent gave away the game – who cares if Green Bay (via the fan owners) and Pittsburgh have solid ownership and excellent scouting, if the players coming out of college all want to go play in glamorous warm-weather areas like Miami and Dallas? You can’t figure out that this will affect parity and he chance for all fans in the NFL to have their front office build a solid team that can be a playoff contender? Maybe this would help – lets say that top 20 players for the next 3 years sign with the Dolphins and Cowboys. Get the picture?

  106. cmstrick says: Apr 24, 2011 12:09 PM

    Translation:

    “All my clients are late-round turds and if we do it my way I’ll make more money.”

  107. bcgreg says: Apr 24, 2011 12:18 PM

    @ tommyf15

    Or Carolina could not trade the 33rd overall pick to the Patriots who will draft (or probably not) 3 of the top 33 players in the draft.

    Competitive balance comes down to a number of factors like ownership, scouting, the cap, revenue sharing, and the draft. The term “competitive balance” is a bad representaion of why the draft is in place. The draft presents opportunity. Without it, the bad teams have no chance. Yeah, college QBs MIGHT go to a bad team for a chance to play, but if he has no WRs to throw to or a good RB to hand off to, then why go there?

    No disrespect to cities like Buffalo or Cleveland, but who would CHOOSE to go play there over Miami, San Diego, Dallas, or any warm climate or “good right now” teams like NE or GB?

    It simply makes ZERO sense to do away with the draft. Because “the fans love it” is NOT a viable reason to eliminate it.

  108. anthonyfromstatenisland says: Apr 24, 2011 12:24 PM

    But you’re all – including the author of this article – overlooking another powerful weapon the owners have in their competitive-balance arsenal:

    The schedule.

    From 1995 through 2001, the NFL schedules were actually “progressive” – that is to say, the lower division finishers from the previous season drew outrightly easier schedules than the higher finishers; and lo and behold, during that seven-year period, two teams went from division cellar-dwellers one year to Super Bowl champs the next – the 1998-99 Rams and the 2000-01 Patriots (plus the Eagles went from last in the NFC East in 1999 to the Elite Eight in 2000, which proved to be the springboard to a string of playoff appearances for them under Andy Reid).

    Since then, the schedule has been “flat”: Every team plays 4 games against 1st-place teams from the year before, 4 games against 2nd-place teams, 4 games against 3rd-place teams, and 4 games against 4th-place teams, regardless of where any team itself finished.

    But with 18 games, the schedule can be made progressive once again – by making the 17th and 18th games interconference games matching up 1st-place teams against other 1st-place teams, 2nd-place teams against other 2nd-place teams etc. – creating a situation in which a first-place team has to play 6 of their 18 games the following year against other first-place teams, while last-place teams get to play 6 of their 18 games against other last-place teams.

    Just one more good thing about the 18-game schedule.

  109. 6thsense79 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:27 PM

    tashkalucy,

    As I’ve already alluded to all three major sports teams have vastly different and intricate structures and you have to really understand them to offer a true and informed comparison.

    Let’s look at the phenomenom where you said Miami and to a lesser degree Dallas where NBA friends could just decide to play on the same team and your rediculously huge leap in trying to project the same phenomenom (which even in the case of the NBA I believe it to be an aberration more than the norm)…….In the case of Miami the team did not actually get Lebron James through free agency….they got James through a sign and trade because Cleveland didn’t want him to walk during free agency with nothing back….if this is the NFL you have restricted free agency to protect teams from this and if that fails the franchise tag which could be used 2 years in row….so if Lebron James played in the NFL he would have to wait up to 3 years after his contract is up before his team would worry about him leaving. Dwyane Wade was already a member of the Heat, so Chris Bosh was the only major player the Heat landed through free agency. Also throw in the fact that NBA rules allowing teams to go above the salary cap to sign their own free agents (Larry Bird rule) and that same rule not being available to NFL teams made the signing possible. And then there is the difference in games. An NBA team can build a legitimate contender by allocating 60-70% of their salary to 3 key players since a rotation goes 8-10 players deep. A typical roster is about 13-15 players

    You can’t build an NFL contending team by allocating most of your salary to 3 players and leaving the rest to the remaining 53 players.

    When I said you didn’t have the requisite knowledge to adequately compare and contrast the different pro leagues I didn’t mean that as a slight against you…..I think very few do….I don’t think I have that knowledge myself but I do know enough to point out holes in such comparisons if that makes sense.

  110. sc5000 says: Apr 24, 2011 12:44 PM

    These players should start taking notice of what their representation is doing for them. If they get rid of the draft and the salary cap and open up free agency for bidding you also give up the salary floor. If you thought the owners were greedy and collusion was high the year before the lockout they better understand that without restrictions to do so they don’t have to pay the players squat.

  111. nmeagle33 says: Apr 24, 2011 1:09 PM

    HI,
    I would think the players would be more interested in health & wellfare as opposed to money right now.
    Seems the players are very short sighted-listening to those that don’t have to worry about living with disabling problems.
    My belief is the structure of the NFL should be left alone. It seems to me the NFL is taking better care of the retired players than their UNION*. The union* apears to have lost its direction, rather than concerned over the players wellfare for life they appear to be interested in changing the golden goose that has produced to something that appears to line their pokets and of their agent friends.
    I am aware the owners are not tottally free of aggravating the situation but they appear more interested in settling this problem where as the union* seems to not want to settle and make changes that could destroy the game of football as we know it.
    I believe it is time the players wake up and stop being led by the nose and see what these guys really want-a changed game that supports a bigger income; but short sighted to the fact that the changes they want will kill the GOLDEN GOOSE.

  112. pigeonpea says: Apr 24, 2011 1:33 PM

    With all this talk about cancelling the draft and the elimination of the salary cap, I am sure of only one thing. If they are taken out of the league, I won’t be watching anymore.

  113. t1mmy10 says: Apr 24, 2011 2:14 PM

    hate to break to it ya, Ayrault, but scouting would become pretty worthless if players pick where they go. the players would then dictate which teams are good & it would be like college. and let’s be honest, there isn’t great competitive balance in college.

    the major product the nfl sells is competition. anything done to hurt that hurts the product. he only wants this cuz it will put more money in his pocket. glad to see the selfish lawyers are trying their best to ruin the sport.

  114. tednancy says: Apr 24, 2011 4:57 PM

    THIS is why most of us are against the players, De Idiot Smith, and the Union. Whether the union really is trying to destroy our beloved sport or whether the union is just trying to threaten us with its destruction, our response MUST be: screw the players and their slimy union leaders and lawyers.

    Again: If you love football, you have to oppose the union and it’s attempt to get rich and destroy our game.

  115. purplepete24 says: Apr 24, 2011 6:56 PM

    Haven’t the players cam out a sais the game is good, were making money nothing should change, and it’s the owners who want to change things. BUT the players lawyers and agents want to change the game in such a way that would in no certain terms ruin the game and turn off a majority of the fans. No wonder the players side is losing the PR battle. Idiots!

  116. marinofreakout says: Apr 24, 2011 9:17 PM

    what good does “scouting” do if players pick their teams??

    who are his clients? if they were of any significance im sure theyd be in the article.
    (if im wrong, shame on you Flo for not revealing them)

    this guy’s a clown with an ulterior motive to drum up business for his psuedo-mcguire sports agency

  117. ravenution says: Apr 24, 2011 9:29 PM

    Personally there should be a draft for every profession straight out of college. Once you gain experience , you are free to go elsewhere to work.

  118. FinFan68 says: Apr 24, 2011 10:45 PM

    “Competitive balance is a fallacy,” Ayrault said. “The success of teams is determined by good ownership and scouting. Period.”
    —————————
    This is coming from an agent that is trying to get ALL his clients on various teams. Based on numbers at least some of his clients are not all that good when compared to other players, but I guarantee he does not market them that way.

    This agent, and likely many others, would love to have no draft because they think they have a better chance of making more money. Some of their clients would make little but a couple would get gigantic deals. IMHO agents are one of the main problems in/for the league.

  119. southmo says: Apr 24, 2011 11:01 PM

    A friend of mine just sang the national anthem at a Kansas City Royals game. She sent pictures of it, and the stands are nearly empty.

    Why anyone associated with NFL football thinks that sort of outcome is a good thing, is simply devoid of reason.

  120. wiley16350 says: Apr 25, 2011 9:09 AM

    “all repubs should be cheering this guy on. the nfl, as presently constructed, is pure socialism. just sayin…”
    __________________________________
    The NFL is not pure socialism. It may be a form of it, but it is not completely the same. If it was pure socialism, then all the players in the draft would get the same contract without respect to draft position or playing position. And same with the amount of money the teams make, currently they share revenue, however they do not share all revenue. And some teams still make more than other teams.

    “first of all let me say that all pro sports are better with a draft. with that said the guy makes a valid point. if a surgeon or an accounting wants to find a job they dont have to enter a draft. if all the companies controlled which workers had to work wherever they were told it would hinder our liberty and freedom. the thing that makes the nfl draft okay is the fact that workers had a contract with the owners. the owners terminated the contract. now its just 32 seperate businesses colluding to decide where its workers must go.”
    __________________________________
    Let’s get something straight, the NFL is NOT 32 seperate businesses. They are not competing against each other in the same sense that walmart and target are competing against each other. Walmart would like to put target out of business and gain all their customers. If one NFL team puts another out of business then it hurts itself in the process. The teams share revenue, the success of one franchise, benefits the rest. The sharing of revenue proves the NFL is one entity (i’m pretty sure walmart does not share revenue with Kmart or Target). The NFL’s competitors are the UFL, CFL and AFL. The players are free to play for one of those other leagues (unless they have already signed a contract with an NFL team) or any other business if they don’t like the working conditions or pay in the NFL. Just because an NFL team drafts them doesn’t mean they have to play football for the NFL.

  121. nmeagle33 says: Apr 25, 2011 12:08 PM

    Let’s see what NELSON has to say today.

  122. brazy44 says: Apr 25, 2011 5:40 PM

    first – this is just talk. they are using it for leverage, cause the owners are scared to death of losing all their exemptions.
    second – if you are not Pro-Ownership, why try to force the players to weaken their leverage, by acknowledging the no-draft talk is just talk.
    lastly – how can you compare the NFL without a draft to baseball that does have a draft?
    i would argrue, based on the agents info about teams winning the title the last 10 years, that while the NFL does a better job of selling hope to it’s fan base, baseball has done a better job of delivering it to its fan base.

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