We already knew that presumptive No. 1 pick Myles Garrett wasn’t planning on attending the 2017 NFL Draft in Philadelphia.
That doesn’t mean he’s not going to be part of a show, but it’s going to be a show run by the NFLPA rather than the NFL.
According to Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com, Garrett’s stay-at-home draft night will still have lights and cameras and action, as part of a new media venture of the players union.
The show will be run through ACE Media, which was launched last fall as part of the NFLPA’s for-profit subsidiary Players Inc.
“This is something we’ve wanted to do for a while,” NFLPA president Eric Winston said. “We wanted to give guys the opportunity where they don’t feel like they have to go to the draft, they can have the day at their house and host all their family and friends, but still be able to capture it for them. And to have Myles Garrett, maybe the first pick, do it is awesome.
“We’re hopeful that we’ll be producing something pretty cool for Myles and ACE.”
ACE also partnered with E! to produce Travis Kelce’s reality dating show, as they dip their toes into original content featuring players. It’s unclear at the moment what kind of content they hope to produce, but the fact players are staging their own show is interesting in its own right, as the union chips into the monopoly the league created with its three-day television show. The fact it’s with the guy everyone assumes will be the first player taken makes it that much better for ACE and the NFLPA.
“He’s just the start, we hope to do a lot of this in future drafts,” Winston said. “This doesn’t apply to Myles, but the opportunity to not have to go to the draft and sit through two hours of not being picked, and have it not just be your parents and brothers and sisters, but also all your friends and, since you can’t bring everyone to the draft, that’s what we want to give them.
“We hope this will allow all the notoriety they’d want, but share it with everyone that played a part in it.”
If nothing else, it’s a reminder that players have the opportunity to turn their business into show business, and they don’t have to walk across a stage and shake hands with Roger Goodell and be part of his show to do it.