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Supplemental draft could be next front in NFL-NFLPA* legal battle

Terrelle Pryor AP

With Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor and several of his teammates possibly opting to follow coach Jim Tressel out of Columbus, the question becomes whether Pryor and any of the other Buckeye players would try to enter the NFL via the supplemental draft.

There could be a supplemental draft, yes,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT on Monday night, in connection with an item regarding the possibility that Pryor could choose to challenge the entire draft process as an antitrust violation.  Before it ever gets to that point, the NFLPA* could try (via the Tom Brady antitrust lawsuit or the legal process established by the expired CBA) to finagle a finding that no supplemental draft can be conducted absent a new labor agreement.

Article XVI of the expired CBA sets forth the rules regarding the draft, and the first sentence of the provision language is clear (or, that is, as clear as anything in a CBA ever is):  “There shall be an Annual Selection Meeting (the ‘College Draft’ or ‘Draft’) each League Year during the term of this Agreement and in the League Year immediately following the expiration or termination of this Agreement.”  Although the balance of Article XVI contains various references to a supplemental draft, Article XVI plainly states that the use of a supplemental draft in any given year results in the forfeiture of the corresponding selection in the next year’s “Annual Selection Meeting.”

In other words, the supplemental draft represents an advance on the next year’s draft.  Since the expired CBA doesn’t call for a draft next year, how can there be a supplemental draft?

It potentially creates an awkward situation for the league.  Allowing any Ohio State players who choose to leave the school to become free agents would set an unwelcome precedent.  Arranging a supplemental draft that falls beyond the terms of the expired CBA could invite a successful legal challenge from the NFLPA*, and possibly from the affected players.  Informing the players that they won’t be allowed to enter the league until the 2012 draft, if there is one, could invite an action from the affected players.

There’s simply no graceful path out of this potential mess for the NFL, if Pryor and other Ohio State players who already are slated to be suspended five games in 2011 opt to try to get officially paid for playing football instead.

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35 Responses to “Supplemental draft could be next front in NFL-NFLPA* legal battle”
  1. darron01 says: May 31, 2011 6:28 PM

    If the league wants to win as many PR points as possible, they should have the supplemental draft. That puts the ball in De Smith’s court. He’s been saying that the players are not attacking the draft. This would force them to make that decision now rather than wait an entire year. If they do try to prevent the supplemental draft, then it will give everyone a taste of just how different the NFL might be if the players’ plan comes to fruition.

  2. pooflingingmonkey says: May 31, 2011 6:35 PM

    But wait! The NFLPA has decertified, so how can it expect any objection on their part to hold any weight?

  3. schemefactory says: May 31, 2011 6:36 PM

    as long as it’s for illegal supplements, brian cushing and shawn merriman are in.

  4. meekdog78 says: May 31, 2011 6:42 PM

    Were there no trades in this year’s draft that involved picks in next year’s draft? Shouldn’t those trades be voided and the players selected in the traded spots revert to the other team?

  5. schemefactory says: May 31, 2011 6:45 PM

    where do you pro owner types come from? really. are you league employed or what? why is this site bombarded by the likes of you while other sites’ commenters are all clearly pro-player? there’s gotta be a reason, and it ain’t that more fans of this site are tools than on any other.

  6. sneaky1632 says: May 31, 2011 6:48 PM

    Great, more stuff to argue about.

  7. vetdana says: May 31, 2011 6:56 PM

    But wait! The NFLPA has decertified

    The NFLPA may have decertified and become a “trade organization” but DeMo and the rest of his immediate peers are still operating as if they did NOT decertify. He certainly is the “spokesman” for the [Trade Assc.].Every time a new issue or concern arises, he is the one who is making the loudest response! Listen to his rants on New York radio.

  8. bobwhitequail says: May 31, 2011 6:56 PM

    Kessler and De Smith are trying to deconstruct every part of the NFL they can. That gives them more potential individual lawsuits to file in the future. They more suits they have the more Kessler makes. It could be suits without end unless the players get someone in there who actually wants to negotiate so they can play football, not just sue.

  9. seahawkhuskyfan says: May 31, 2011 7:11 PM

    Who would have first pick? Is there an order somewhere? This might be the only football thing we have to look forward to for a bit.

  10. tumsman2 says: May 31, 2011 7:12 PM

    The NFL should ban all the current players from playing in the League. And the Owners should draft all new college players. It’s a WINNING strategy.

    The new players will be happy because they don’t have to get “real jobs” that pay $40k at best for working 365 days per year.

    And all the $40k jobs in this country can now go to the current players, whose greed has clouded their judgement.

    I hope you enjoy 70 hour work weeks at minimum wage.

  11. harmcityhomer says: May 31, 2011 7:12 PM

    There is no legal way to have a draft without a CBA.

    There is also no reason to do it while the lockout is still on.

  12. jpmelon says: May 31, 2011 7:13 PM

    It’s simple….there is no legal right to have the supplemental draft. It has to wait until the new CBA is agreed upon. If Pryor wants to sue, he’ll have to sue, but that doesn’t mean he’ll win. In hindsight, after this is resolved, he’ll get his chance to be in the NFL and his time that is lost will be seen as an unfortunate casualty of the labor dispute.

    I don’t see the NFL breaking the contract that they are trying desperately to uphold. Their entire case against the NFLPA rests on the details of the old CBA.

  13. willycents says: May 31, 2011 7:23 PM

    @ darron01

    excellent comment. Would be interesting to get the take on this from Brees, who has stated there is no intention to attack the draft, in spite of what his lawsuit says. I agree that the supplemental be held, both for the incoming players (who meet the leagues eligibility standards as applies to years out of high school) and to test the anti trust lawsuits reaction.
    Then, we would have a definite action showing the player lawsuits intent with reference to the future of the league.
    I think it would also show whether the league is willing to fight or willing to cave in to the players. Essentially, having the draft would force both sides to show their cards, so to speak, and perhaps hasten the solving of the current impasse.

  14. dkeyser says: May 31, 2011 7:33 PM

    Hold the Supplemental draft and just dont draft any players..Its not like anybody usually gets drafted anyways

  15. willycents says: May 31, 2011 7:45 PM

    “It potentially creates an awkward situation for the league. ……….”
    Simplw solution, mandate that every player in the NFL must have a college degree. End of problem with the Ohio State guys.

    Errrrrrr..would have only what, half a dozen players playing at all. Bad idea

  16. stairwayto7 says: May 31, 2011 7:54 PM

    In the 5th round the Cleveland Browns select WR Terrell Pryor!

  17. pacificamjr says: May 31, 2011 8:13 PM

    Eagles should draft Pryor and make him MV7′s understudy… i bet theyd be dawgs off the field too

  18. bravin4evr says: May 31, 2011 8:52 PM

    @tumsman2…..idiot the owners know who makes money for them and it isn’t college players.

  19. tommyf15 says: May 31, 2011 9:20 PM

    seahawkhuskyfan says:
    Who would have first pick? Is there an order somewhere? This might be the only football thing we have to look forward to for a bit.

    From Wiki: Draft order is determined by a weighted system that is divided into three groupings. First come the teams that had six or fewer wins last season, followed by non-playoff teams that had more than six wins, followed by the 12 playoff teams. In the supplemental draft, a team is not required to use any picks. Instead, if a team wants a player in the supplemental draft, they submit a “bid” to the Commissioner with the round they would pick that player. If no other team places a bid on that player at an earlier spot, the team is awarded the player and has to give up an equivalent pick in the following year’s draft. (For example, FS Paul Oliver was taken by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the Supplemental Draft in 2007; thus, in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Chargers forfeited a fourth-round pick.)

    As for the suspended Ohio State players, the only one that projects as a high draft pick is OL Mike Adams, who I’ve seen listed as a secord rounder.

    Terrelle Prior is a great athlete and would likely get drafted in a late round as an athlete / project type. He’s not an NFL QB.

  20. vikescry1 says: May 31, 2011 9:58 PM

    blah blah blah f-u nflpa and nfl! sick of your crap!

  21. realfann says: May 31, 2011 10:20 PM

    Not sure I’m onboard with the thinking here.

    I don’t know of anyone that expects the current “Tom Brady” anti-trust suit to ever be concluded.

    Astute observers expect an agreement to be made between the players and owners long before the first hearing is scheduled.

    So why would it matter to anyone if the supplemental draft was added as a sideshow to a case that will never be judged?

    Clearly it wouldn’t.

    All that MIGHT happen if the NFL announce a supplementary draft is that the players MIGHT in theory ask for an injunction to prevent it.

    But they won’t. Be stupid to when there are bigger issues.

    Bottom line is that the NFL can hold it or not. Nothing bad will happen to them or the players either way.

    Nothing.

  22. willycents says: May 31, 2011 10:41 PM

    @ tommy15
    Thanks for the info. I am too lazy to look it up…lol…

  23. brownsclown says: May 31, 2011 10:48 PM

    We missed the Rapture! Now I have to change my ‘rapture hatch’ to a sky light.

    But I won’t miss June 3rd! That’s when the NFPLA*s world will end. Lockout will continue. Braylon Edwards will be short drink money! Donte Stallworth will get the DT’s.

    Wow!

  24. willycents says: May 31, 2011 11:00 PM

    schemefactory says:May 31, 2011 6:45 PM

    where do you pro owner types come from? really. are you league employed or what? why is this site bombarded by the likes of you while other sites’ commenters are all clearly pro-player? there’s gotta be a reason, and it ain’t that more fans of this site are tools than on any other.
    —————————————————–

    Just as more liberals post on the MSNBC news blogs and more conservatives post on the Fox news blogs…..Each group in the current stalemate tend to accumulate on blogs that they feel comfortable on. I monitor and post on a number of blogs, on various subjects from news to finance to politics and to various sports. I see the same disconnect between the various blogs within each subject. Not to say either group is not valid in their points, just that they have an obvious disconnect in their individual view points,
    What I have noticed on this blog as opposed to the others that I monitor, the vitriol directed at the owners group by the players group is far greater here than on anything but the politics blogs and the religious blogs. I suppose that is how deeply each side believes in their position.
    What puzzles me is the inability of many pro-player posters to have an intelligent discussion, where they are willing to refute/reinforce comments by the their and the other side. It seems that sports has become like politics, where the opposition must be personally denigrated in an effort to lessen the value of their statements instead of logically defending your own position.
    Perhaps the posters who practice the denigration of their opposition are simply trolls out to cause a ruckus for their own personal enjoyment. I don’t know.

  25. vahawker says: May 31, 2011 11:15 PM

    schemefactory says: May 31, 2011 6:45 PM

    where do you pro owner types come from? really. are you league employed or what? why is this site bombarded by the likes of you while other sites’ commenters are all clearly pro-player? there’s gotta be a reason, and it ain’t that more fans of this site are tools than on any other.

    *****************************************

    Because the NFLPA has sent all the players to those sites?

    As usual, you are unable to accept the fact that people can look at the same situation and arrive at different conclusions. Seems the tool would be the one with the small mind who thinks anyone who doesn’t think like he does is a tool.

  26. Dawggpound says: May 31, 2011 11:33 PM

    The only person on the planet who may have a greater sense of personal entitlement than De Smith is Terrelle Pryor- Maybe he can hire him to drive him around in those 6 cars that he got from Buckeye Boosters.

  27. duanethomas says: Jun 1, 2011 12:04 AM

    The pro-owner crowd is on his so irrational you can’t even have a intelligent reasonable dialouge.

    Start a new league paying each player 40K a year.

    D. Smith is an attorney who is billing the players by the hour.

    Bring in the scabs.

    Shut down the league.

    How do you even respond to that?

  28. ernestbynershands says: Jun 1, 2011 12:08 AM

    This is messed up. This kid lied and cheated his way thru college. Lying up to the end. The coach who allowed it (facilitated it) will be the sacrificial lamb.
    Players and coaches who cheat together, should be sentenced, or banished, together.
    Where else can you lie, cheat and steal,and get away with it? Profit from it?Aside from Washington and Wall Street.

  29. hedleykow says: Jun 1, 2011 2:37 AM

    If the eighth circuit would grow a pair, it would be a good start. Half the damn owners will have died from old age by the time the eighth circuit makes a decision on whether lockout is one word or two.

  30. pftequalsgreatjournalism says: Jun 1, 2011 3:01 AM

    schemefactory says:
    May 31, 2011 6:45 PM
    where do you pro owner types come from? really. are you league employed or what? why is this site bombarded by the likes of you while other sites’ commenters are all clearly pro-player? there’s gotta be a reason, and it ain’t that more fans of this site are tools than on any other.

    ————————————-

    1. Saudi Arabia
    2. No
    3. Because we like this site; if you don’t, then perhaps you should troll elsewhere…

    More seriously though, it seems that many of the people on PFT, including me, feel that the NFLPA* is solely bent on destroying football through a litigation strategy led by Jesse Jackson’s Evil Twin…

    Had the NFLPA (no asterisk) responded to the NFL’s offer with a reasonable counter-offer instead of going Nuclear, then I suspect there might not be a lockout… Just MHO and of course I could be wrong…

    Anyway, have a nice day and I can’t wait to see the players cave; it’s coming and hopefully before December 21, 2012!

  31. realfann says: Jun 1, 2011 4:44 AM

    Once again the accusation is made that the suit filed by the players “attacks” the draft.

    No it doesn’t.

    It specifically targets the NFL ownership practice of setting a limit on the total amount of money that drafted rookies can earn. This is called the “entering player pool”.

    The suit is crystal clear that it is asking that this limit on the total rookies salaries be stopped from applying to the 2011 draft.

    That is all. The draft per se is not attacked. What is attacked is the owners artificially limiting what rookies can be paid in total.

    The exact quote is (the words in parenthesis are mine):

    2. (the players request the court to) Declare that the NFL defendants imposing the anti-competitive draft with an “entering player pool” voilates section 1 of the Sherman act and enjoining said restriction.

    By the way, a previous comment described the rules that would decide the order of team selection.

    Those rules were contained in the CBA that the owners ripped up. So relevant they are not.

  32. oldbyrd says: Jun 1, 2011 8:25 AM

    Supp. draft.?… Hurry Call D Idiot Smith so he can screw this up too. He”s a brain dead moron. Not a pimple on Gene Upshaws A__

  33. patsandsox says: Jun 1, 2011 2:56 PM

    I am actually pro player in this but has anyone ever seen DeSmith smile?

    He always looks like he is severly constipated and someone just stole his lunch money

  34. eagleswin says: Jun 1, 2011 3:43 PM

    realfann says:Jun 1, 2011 4:44 AM

    Once again the accusation is made that the suit filed by the players “attacks” the draft.

    No it doesn’t.

    It specifically targets the NFL ownership practice of setting a limit on the total amount of money that drafted rookies can earn. This is called the “entering player pool”.

    The suit is crystal clear that it is asking that this limit on the total rookies salaries be stopped from applying to the 2011 draft.

    That is all. The draft per se is not attacked. What is attacked is the owners artificially limiting what rookies can be paid in total.

    The exact quote is (the words in parenthesis are mine):

    2. (the players request the court to) Declare that the NFL defendants imposing the anti-competitive draft with an “entering player pool” voilates section 1 of the Sherman act and enjoining said restriction.
    ——————————–

    Where are you getting your information from? I am looking at a crappy scanned copy they have on ESPN. If there is a non-scanned pdf out there, please let me know because I’d love to cut and paste the actual relevent section.

    In regards to entering the player pool (draft), it is items 67-70 on the complaint and it absolutely attacks everything regarding the draft. The very first thing that it says it that the draft restricts competition for player services.

    It doesn’t get more straightforward than that.

    They are attacking everything to do with the draft.

  35. voyager6 says: Jun 1, 2011 8:35 PM

    I am not sure the NFLPA* has a leg to stand on in this fight. Maybe some college or high school kid.

    1) The players who would have a right to file an anti-trust lawsuit are the ones who would be volunteering/declaring for the supplemental draft. Why would they declare and then file a lawsuit? Obviously not.

    2) Only if the NFL excluded someone who wants to declare, or someone who would want to be a free agent, able to negotiate with any tean, would have a leg to stand on a lawsuit.

    3) If there is no sup. draft, then the plyers should be free agents. No impact to NFLPA* or a future CBA.

    4) A CBA is not required assuming the owners want to operate under anti-trust rules. They can make any rules that they want, subject to someone filing an anti-trust lawsuit.

    This is one more reason for there to be an agreement. Any inticing of a college player to file suit by the NFLPA* is just poor sportsmanship.

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