At a time when the NFLPA* is insisting that lawyer Jeffrey Kessler doesn’t want to take away the NFL’s version of Christmas, it remains to be seen whether NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith truly digs it.
In an interview with Jeremy Schaap of ESPN, Smith did nothing to credibly dispel the notion that the draft will be attacked in 2012. He mentioned on multiple occasions that the NFL is now operating under “free market” principles subject to antitrust principles, and at one point he referred to the incoming rookies, who will be “owned” by the teams who draft them.
Earlier this week, Smith offered a flippant response to the direct question of whether the draft is under attack.
“If [Commissioner Roger Goodell] truly believes that the draft is something that we’re attacking, then I don’t know what’s gonna happen on Thursday, but the last time I checked my calender, the draft is scheduled to move forward,” Smith told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning.
Smith failed to point out that the expired labor agreement contemplated that a draft would occur in 2011. And with Smith now using buzz words like “free market” and “ownership,” in reference to the draft, it’s impossible to rule out a direct assault on future drafts.