Nearly two weeks after the lockout ended and less than one week from the first preseason game, the league still has said nothing about the 2011 supplemental draft.
There’s a chance the league never will.
Asked whether a report from CBSSports.com that a decision will be made in the next 24-36 hours is true, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT by e-mail, “No.”
Added Aiello, “A supplemental draft has not been scheduled. If one is, we will announce the date to the clubs and fans.”
The key word is “if.” As Aiello previously has said, if there are no eligible players, there will be no supplemental draft.
Either way, with teams working on the fly to put together plans for the 2011 season, it’s hard to imagine that former Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor or anyone else would be attractive at this point. Any player picked would essentially be taking up a roster spot this year based on potential that wouldn’t begin to be realized until 2012, at the earliest.
We also continue to suspect that the NFL is trying to justify not including Pryor as a favor to the NCAA, which lost the ability to interrogate Pryor about any income he received in college once Pryor left school. There’s no real justification to keep Pryor out, who could have entered the April 2011 draft easily, out of the supplemental draft, especially since as the CBSSports.com report points out Ohio State said on July 26 that Pryor would have been declared ineligible for not just the first five games but the entire season.
A lawsuit likely isn’t an option at this point either, now that the CBA has resurrected the league’s exemption from antitrust claims made by current and prospective employees who believe that it’s unfair to create hiring rules that apply to 32 separate businesses.
At some point, it makes more sense for Pryor to simply wait until the April 2012 draft, at which time he would have ample opportunity to work out for scouts and otherwise let teams prepare to make a good decision about his immediate NFL future.
Cue the commenters who’ll say he can pay the bills until then by signing autographs.