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NFLPA* on the future of the draft: “Jeffrey Kessler is not going to ruin Christmas”

Grinch

In this upside down NFL, we know one thing for certain: There will be a draft for the next three nights.

The future of the NFL Draft is a little less certain.   I attended the NFLPA* draft event Thursday afternoon in Times Square and asked NFLPA* spokesman George Atallah about the future of the draft.

“We’ve agreed to a draft for the last 20 years. To suggest something like Jeffrey Kessler is going to ruin Christmas sounds a little bit dramatic. We’re looking for long-term solutions,” Atallah said.

I then asked him if he was confident enough to tell fans there would be a draft in 2012.

“I’m confident given where we are now that there’s going to be football.   I can’t speak on behalf on the class of players.  I can only tell you from the history of our game, that the draft has been the cornerstone of what the NFL is about,” he responded before using his excellent line once again:

“Jeffrey Kessler is not going to ruin Christmas.”

(While it was a great line, it’s telling he couldn’t guarantee there would be a draft yet.)

As Florio pointed out to me during our dorky train ride Thursday with our laptops open, the NFLPA* wouldn’t necessarily be the ones that would have to attack the legitimacy of the draft in the future.  Without a collective bargaining agreement and antitrust protection, a player like cornerback Janoris Jenkins could attack the legitimacy of the draft, making the case he should just go to the highest bidder.

“Any uncertainty and chaos is a result of the owners’ own actions,” Atallah said.  “So all of the things that have been hyperbolized and brought up as theories to what possibly may happen, those are all things that could have easily been avoided if the other side was willing to fight as hard as we are for a game.”

NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith said more than once on Thursday that “football is back.”  But it’s not that simple.  Even if the NFL is forced to re-open their doors soon, which all fans should be hoping for, there are a lot of strange things that could happen until a new CBA is worked out.

In the end, the players and owners will still need to work out their differences in a new deal to get things back to normal.

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33 Responses to “NFLPA* on the future of the draft: “Jeffrey Kessler is not going to ruin Christmas””
  1. hobartbaker says: Apr 28, 2011 4:53 PM

    Maybe not, but he’s going to ruin weekends and Thursday nights for a lot of people in the months leading up to Christmas, along with the month after Christmas.

  2. hobartbaker says: Apr 28, 2011 4:54 PM

    Easy for George Ayatollah to say. Like he gives a crap about Christmas.

  3. 8drinkminimum says: Apr 28, 2011 4:55 PM

    So the bottom line is you never got a straight answer.

  4. cliverush says: Apr 28, 2011 4:56 PM

    “Any uncertainty and chaos is a result of our blind greed”would have been the true statement.

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

    And if Roger Goodell has his way the draft will eventually be spread over a month of primetime nights available only on Pay-Per-View.

    According to Goodell “It’s what the fans want.”

  6. bpjensen says: Apr 28, 2011 5:02 PM

    Jeffrey Kessler does bear a resemblance to the Grinch though, and to Bartman from Chicago.

  7. touchdownroddywhite says: Apr 28, 2011 5:03 PM

    No draft = destruction of competiont = less fans = less money for all these whiners.

    Im beyond caring at this point. Either football will continue to be relevant and exciting and I’ll continue to watch or it will not be any of those things and I will not watch.

    F**k ‘em all.

  8. zaggs says: Apr 28, 2011 5:04 PM

    ““Any uncertainty and chaos is a result of the owners’ own actions,” Atallah said. ”So all of the things that have been hyperbolized and brought up as theories to what possibly may happen, those are all things that could have easily been avoided if the other side was willing to fight as hard as we are for a game.”

    Last I checked these were the same idiots who never counter-offered to the League and then complained that reading the leagues offer would hurt too much…er take too much time. I notice Atallah never once said that there would be a draft in 2012 or that the players even wanted a draft. Kessler is the lawyer and would not be the one to attack as it would be his clients that attack it.

  9. vanhenge1234 says: Apr 28, 2011 5:14 PM

    It’s Festivus for the NFL!

  10. tednancy says: Apr 28, 2011 5:16 PM

    Why didn’t Atallah say “we will not attack the draft in 2012?” The “we won’t ruin Christmas” line is a dodge, and PFT fell for it.

    Sometimes a catchy phrase can obscure the fact that the speaker is dissembling.

    If Atallah and the NFLPA are serious about not going after the draft, then why not just say it?

    “Are you going after the draft?”

    “We’re not going after Christmas.”

    HUH?

    The players side is all spin, and that should tell you something.

  11. tednancy says: Apr 28, 2011 5:19 PM

    “Are you going to attack the draft?”

    “Jeffery Kessler isn’t going to ruin Thanksgiving”

    “But is the NFLPA going to challenge the draft in the future?”

    “Jeffrey Kessler isn’t going to ruin Halloween”

    “What about the draft?”

    “The NFL is responsible for your confusion, not us. And like I said, we love Christmas”

    ===============================

    And yet some of you still support the players???

  12. tednancy says: Apr 28, 2011 5:22 PM

    ““Any uncertainty and chaos is a result of the owners’ own actions,” Atallah said.

    WRONG. The uncertainty comes from the fact that union goons like Atallah refuse to give us a straight answer.

    De Smith, Atallah, and Kessler are the biggest asses in the history of the world.

    Replacements: bring ‘em on.

  13. voxveritass says: Apr 28, 2011 5:23 PM

    I don’t understand all these people that are anti-union politically but complete socialists when it comes to their football.
    Revenue sharing = redistribution of wealth.
    Draft and rookie pay slotting = restriction of opportunity.
    The players have no interest in destroying the NFL. They do have and interest in stopping the owners from destroying it though.

  14. almcc says: Apr 28, 2011 5:23 PM

    Why do you guys keep calling the players greedy. They haven’t asked for a single penny more than they already were getting. It is the owners who opted out of the contract, and then told they players that instead of 1 billion off the top for expenses, they now want 2 billion off the top. All the players then said was prove to us you need it, and the owners won’t do that. How is that players being greedy?

  15. blantoncollier says: Apr 28, 2011 5:24 PM

    Beware of double speak..until DeeKessler says the draft is safe it isnt. And it wont be safe until the law suit is settled with a new CBA.

    Man up DeeKessler–tell it like it is…Is the draft safe or not for the long term?

  16. realitypolice says: Apr 28, 2011 5:28 PM

    It was stupid of you to ask the question and expect a straight answer.

    Getting rid of the draft is a demand in the current player’s lawsuit. It is there as a bargaining chip- something they will give back later in exchange for a concession from the owners.

    So they can’t come out and declare now that they intend to allow the draft to continue, or they lose the bargaining chip.

    Why is that so hard to understand?

    Tell you what I think- I think you know what the NFLPA* is doing here, but you continue to report the possibility that the draft is in jeopardy because you don’t want to discourage all of the silly little chicken littles on here from crying “the sky is falling” when you know full well that’s it’s not.

    Here is what I, most reasonable people, and all of the writers on this site know- the settlement of this suit that becomes the new CBA will include a draft, a salary cap, and free agency rules.

    The fact that you report otherwise is a joke, and you know it.

  17. thefiesty1 says: Apr 28, 2011 5:30 PM

    They’ll have it figured out by this time next year….maybe.

  18. billybats says: Apr 28, 2011 5:30 PM

    “hobartbaker says: Apr 28, 2011 4:54 PM

    Easy for George Ayatollah to say. Like he gives a crap about Christmas.”

    Ditto for Jeffrey Kessler.

  19. mhs8031 says: Apr 28, 2011 5:30 PM

    If I boycott the NFL over this, I am also boycotting lawyers.

  20. dontcallmepete says: Apr 28, 2011 5:31 PM

    When the owners made what they called an offer it was 1. At the last minute and 2. A counter-proposal to the last offer by the players.

    No one has a right to “draft” people. It’s negotiated and if the owners were so in favor of it they shouldn’t have terminated the agreement.

  21. loytomaki says: Apr 28, 2011 5:32 PM

    I know this is likely to fall on many deaf ears, after the second post already declared “Ayatollah” can’t comment on Christmas you know… because of his name. (also, was the Grinch in the bible?). People need to can it with the proxy issues (many of you hate unions, Muslims, and your jobs, I get it).

    The reality is, which is backed up by logic and facts and such, is that even if the owners loose in the courts the game will go on in very much the same way it has.

    The owners had a contract, they voided it to try to get a more owner friendly deal but they were still making a lot of money. Do you really think that the owners would destroy the NFL because it makes them really rich instead of really really rich?

    The owners have gone to court to try to force the players back into a union which they can then lock out. They are not likely to get a conservative 8th district court to declare that the free market can’t solve this problem and players must unionize. If the owners do not win, they are not going to close shop.

    The players are not asking for the draft to end, they are simply stating that the NFL owners are acting in violation of anti-trust laws. Laws that exist to protect the free market system. The owners are then extrapolating from that argument that the players want to end the draft, end rules, kill fans, eat puppies, etc. The owners are trying to bait emotional responses from people so they do not think clearly about the facts.

    The owners will not kill the cash cow that is the NFL, and neither will the players. Part of this cow is the draft. This is all posturing. The owners said free agency would “end the NFL” too, doesn’t seem like that has happened.

  22. mackie66 says: Apr 28, 2011 5:38 PM

    Are you kidding, the gene is out of the box. The NFL is now changed, and not for the good, forever. The owners will get their business in order. As Steve Ross, the owner of the Dolphins stated, there will be no football untill the model gets fixed. No more 50 mill for a QB whos never played one down of pro-football. What the owners come up with in the next month or so will ,for good or bad, be a different NFL. If I was an owner I believe a 40-60 split would surfice, but the players who now preceive themselves as partners what a 50-50 split. It WONT happen. The owners put up the money to run the business, the players are employees who draw a paycheck. Get it?

  23. cliverush says: Apr 28, 2011 5:41 PM

    I cannot believe that I purchased a $1200. plasma to watch this bull unfold. It is bad enough to have to listen to the speculation about the draft picks for months now we get lawyers to comment endlessly about football. I should have known something was up when a lawyer signs a deal with a major network to “talk about football”. We have gone from “put me in coach” to “Is there a lawyer in the house?

  24. scrotiemcb says: Apr 28, 2011 5:49 PM

    What’s fascinating is that the players/NFLPA* don’t seem to realize how some of these ‘antitrust’ violations protect the vast majority of players. Let them go nuts and attain a truly free market and they’ll soon be living in a third-world economy where 99% of the wealth is shared by 5% of the players, while the other 95% have to settle for less than veteran minimum contracts if they want to play football at all. 28 year old journeymen will be extinct, and to rub salt in the wound, most will never even have a shot at ever playing a truly meaningful game, as they’ll be sentenced to teams who have almost zero chance of ever competing with the big markets. After awhile, some serious league retraction will take place, the NFL will settle out at about 15-20 franchises, and 832 would-be-affluent 20 somethings will be anything but. They will be competing for garbage entry level jobs with the rest of the real world. But at least DeMaurice and Crew will be capitalizing on the glory of sticking it to the billionaires club, and none of them will ever admit that what they really did is cut of their nose to spite their face.

  25. pappageorgio says: Apr 28, 2011 5:51 PM

    I am sick and tired of either side blaming the whole mess on the other side.

    Those statements are basically “if the other side would just do/say/give us everything we want and be our lap-dog” then we wouldn’t be here.

    These statements are load……it doesn’t matter if you side with the owners or the players, you have to agree both sides are responsible for this mess. How much you blame either side is a matter of opinion.

    The players are just as responsible for the “uncertainty” as the owners are.

  26. mark0226 says: Apr 28, 2011 5:51 PM

    Wouldn’t it be a true statement to say that the uncertainty and chaos is a DIRECT result of BOTH sides being willing to fight hard for a “game” (AKA: MONEY)? If either side was not fighting as hard, then they would have come to an agreement and this would have been avoided, but the fact that BOTH sides are fighting, means no agreement and chaos.

  27. vetdana says: Apr 28, 2011 6:09 PM

    The owners will not kill the cash cow that is the NFL, and neither will the players.
    Not quite yet….BUT….they sure have carved off alot of steaks and roasted them on the grill! The old cow ain’t what she used to be !!

  28. hoopsdoc says: Apr 28, 2011 6:34 PM

    There’s a reason why union membership in this country fell to a 70 year low last year, under 12 percent of the total workforce.

    And its because they tend to be greedy, corrupt and willing to kill their employers rather than giving an INCH.

    The owners offered a 3rd party audit to prove they were losing money but de smith and co weren’t interested.

    This is just another example of why unions across this country are dying off left and right.

  29. wannabeqb says: Apr 28, 2011 6:52 PM

    He can’t publicly say their will be a draft next year, it’s leverage, doing so would be nuts.

  30. redsghost says: Apr 28, 2011 6:53 PM

    Fine, fine…alright Kessler won’t ruin Christmas……the players will though!

    And to the idiot (callmepete) who claims that noone has the right to draft people…of course they do! So, when WW III starts and the US Gov’T wants to draft some soldiers, should I say- “No, that’s an Anti-trust issue and please go see my Union Rep” and then go to the highest bidder like these greedy players?

    Bring in the scabs! They’ll entertain us just as much as the ummmm “professionals”.

  31. redsghost says: Apr 28, 2011 6:58 PM

    scrotiemcb says:
    Apr 28, 2011 5:49 PM
    What’s fascinating is that the players/NFLPA* don’t seem to realize how some of these ‘antitrust’ violations protect the vast majority of players. Let them go nuts and attain a truly free market and they’ll soon be living in a third-world economy where 99% of the wealth is shared by 5% of the players, while the other 95% have to settle for less than veteran minimum contracts if they want to play football at all. 28 year old journeymen will be extinct, and to rub salt in the wound, most will never even have a shot at ever playing a truly meaningful game, as they’ll be sentenced to teams who have almost zero chance of ever competing with the big markets. After awhile, some serious league retraction will take place, the NFL will settle out at about 15-20 franchises, and 832 would-be-affluent 20 somethings will be anything but. They will be competing for garbage entry level jobs with the rest of the real world. But at least DeMaurice and Crew will be capitalizing on the glory of sticking it to the billionaires club, and none of them will ever admit that what they really did is cut of their nose to spite their face.

    Agree completely with Scrotiemcb- the only thing I’d add is that is the draft is gone then ANYONE, whether in college or not will be able to “apply” for these jobs- and get them!

  32. bsandcs says: Apr 28, 2011 7:17 PM

    Attallah accuses the NFL of hyperbolizing??

    The NFLPA*/ its players are always talking in extremes and it’s dmn annoying.

    “this is the worst deal in the history of sports”-De Smith
    “this is a great day for this country” – The face (again)
    any uncertainty and chaos is the owners fault -Attalah
    “NFL is like modern day slavery” -Peterson
    “Goodell uses Gestapo tactics” -Toomer
    “We can literally die when we’re out there on the field…players risk their lives everytime they go out there” -Visanthe Shiancoe

    Gimme a break.

  33. bsandcs says: Apr 29, 2011 12:58 PM

    mike what’s the deal are you not posting comments on this article anymore?

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