NFL could stop tanking with a draft lottery

Getty Images

Tanking has been the subject of a great deal of conversation in the NFL this offseason, with allegations that the Browns wanted to be the worst team in the league last year so they’d get the first pick in the draft this year, and that the Jets want to be the worst team in the league this year so they’ll get the first pick in the draft next year. That doesn’t reflect well on the NFL, which is selling tickets to fans who want to see their teams trying to win.

But there’s something the NFL could do to end tanking: Implement a draft lottery.

That’s something the NBA has done, and it was the subject of an argument between Mike Florio and Pat McAfee this morning on PFT Live. McAfee pointed out that tanking is alive and well in the NBA despite its draft lottery, but that’s only because the NBA has changed the rules of its draft lottery so that the teams with the worst records get the best odds for the highest picks. When the NBA draft lottery was originally implemented in 1985, every non-playoff team had the same odds of getting the first pick, which meant there was no incentive for a team to tank its season.

The NFL could do the same thing: Simply put all 20 non-playoff teams’ names in a hat, draw them at random, and use the order the names are drawn as the draft order. That way, a team that’s 3-10 with three weeks remaining in the season won’t have any incentive to lose, because a 3-13 team and a 6-10 team would have the same draft odds.

The Buccaneers blatantly tanked the last game of the 2014 season because they wanted the first overall pick in the draft, which they would use on Jameis Winston. Heading into that game, the Bucs knew that if they lost they’d have the first pick and if they won they’d have the second pick. At halftime of Week 17, the Bucs led 20-7. Not wanting to win, Bucs coach Lovie Smith promptly benched most of his top players, and the Bucs lost — which they were obviously trying to do.

With a draft lottery that gives every team an equal shot at the first pick, that wouldn’t happen. The NFL could easily shut tanking down with a lottery.

164 responses to “NFL could stop tanking with a draft lottery

  1. That’s also pretty rough when you factor every year a good team doesn’t make the playoffs and a worse team does….

    Case in point the 2013 season when the Arizona Cardinals at 10-6 in then the best Division in Football had to watch as an 8-7-1 Packers team made the playoffs…

    Then you tell me the Cardinals have the same shot at #1 as the worst team in the leagueleague

  2. Why try and fix something that isn’t broke? Nothing is perfect but the NFL draft is better than a Lottery where the worst teams may not get the picks they need because they were less lucky in a random draft.

  3. I agree.

    The draft and the hype surrounding it is a circus. The Bucs tanking to get a #1 pick is a good example. I’m sure there are plenty other examples. HOWEVER, the draft is a money making spectacle for the NFL. Will they give that up for fairness? Not when there’s too much money involved.

    Roger always has $$ on his mind.

  4. The lottery didn’t stop the 76ers from tanking three straight years. Now, they’re ready to emerge.

    0-16 will decimate your local interest for a year, and get a bunch of folks fired. It’s not a good look.

    Forced change of ownership for persistently awful franchises might work better. For everyone but the awful owner.

  5. I don’t trust the NFL enough to think there wouldn’t be any shenanigans. I’m not being snarky. I feel the league office would pull the strings they felt would collectively make them the most money.

    I like the risk that is already linked to tanking. If you tank then you risk losing the moral portion of your fan base.

  6. The day that the NFL needs to copy the NBA in any aspect will flag the demise of the NFL. I mean, the NBA is so dysfunctional and so uncompetitive that it is the last business the NFL needs to be looking at for ideas. Here’s a wild idea – put 20 percent of both the players salary an the owners profit in a pool and playoff teams and playoff winners take portionsfrom it and non playoff teams lose money not just games. Give more financial reasons for teams to win not posture to get in a draft lottery.

  7. All teams took notice after Colts tanked to get Luck. They even lost their last game of the year to the Jags to get Luck.

  8. Pat should know, as he saw first hand the biggest tank in NFL history. They even had a catchy name for it.
    But so far that hasn’t really worked out the way they wanted.
    Maybe, karma put a curse on the team and they will never win another SB.

  9. Since more players are factors on an NFL team, having a lottery probably wouldn’t achieve it’s desired end. (Parity in the game)

    NBA and NHL can be more easily dominated by a single player, and thus the incentives are there.

    Just ask the Colts how well their ‘suck for Luck’ is paying off.

  10. Different sports. One, you don’t get the luxury of tanking a season in the NFL. Two, the season is so short and roster space so limited that getting young guys playing time is valuable at the end of a lost season. Three, top 5 picks dominate the NBA which is a star driven league one but one player rarely makes a difference. Look at the colts and luck as an example of that.

  11. This Bronco fan generally doesn’t like changing the rules, but there’s a valid point here.

    Only I wouldn’t put all non-playoff teams in the lottery. Half of them (10) would be enough.

    Furthermore, I would apply it only to the first round so that the bottom-dwellers have a small opportunity to become more competitive via the later rounds.

  12. This really causes more problems than it solves. Giving a 10-6 or, in some odd years, 11-5 team the same shot at a high pick as all the bad teams just widens the gap, making the bad teams worse and making the “good but not great teams” even better.

    How is a bad team supposed to get better if the competition gets better draft picks because of luck?

  13. Maybe the NFL just needs to crack the whip on these tanking teams. If it looks like a team is taking a dive, knock them back five places in the draft.

  14. Do any fans really care about tanking in the NFL? I mean, I’d rather have pick 1-3 than go 6-10 in the season. The draft is now almost as important to fans of losing teams as the season. The draft is their playoffs. A draft would be totally unfair to the fans of perennials losers.

  15. I wouldn’t necessarily give every non-playoff team the same odds because the bottom 6 suck a lot more than the ones just missing out. Take the bottom six or make it any teams with less than 5 or 6 wins. This would add another night of prime time t9 the NFL, which we all know they crave and could sell.

  16. No lottery needed. There are plenty of #1 busts to indicate the draft is a crap shoot. Virtually every re-draft article shows that the original #1 pick would have been different a few years later in a redo.

  17. So a team that doesn’t try to tank but ends up with a poor record can somehow find themselves selecting at #20 in the first round? A team who just misses out on the playoffs ends up with the #1 selection which they can trade for a ransom of talent or draft currency? Yeah that will keep the League competitive!

    A draft lottery in the NFL would only work if it only affected the bottom 5 teams. Selections 6-20 are still set by record and 21-32 by post season.

  18. Right. It has stopped all tanking in the NBA. Dumbest idea I have seen on this site, thats saying something!

  19. With all the “player safety” rules being implemented, the NFL is morphing into the NBA anyway. Might as well have a lottery. While they’re at it, just do away with parity and just have two teams in the Superbowl every year as well. (That’s sarcasm by the way to all the dimwits addicted to the like buttons).

  20. .
    If there’s one thing that fans of all 32 NFL teams can agree on, it’s that the Jets have officially made a farce of ” Goodell’s Law of Parity”. I’m at a loss to see how they’ll be favored in any game this year.

    The question is, will the national, and especially the New York media, give the Jets a free pass? Will they just shrug their shoulders and announce tanking as the ” new normal”?

    When the Jets are taking 31-3 beatings week in and week out, will the media ask,” Where is Roger “?
    .

  21. I would say we could punish teams that tank, but seeing as that’s the one rule you wouldn’t have to worry about the patriots breaking I doubt anyone cares enough.

  22. You need to put the draft lottery on live then. This way theres no question about rigging the lottery

    the flip side of trying to sell the tanked season games to fans, is teams that dont get lucky in the lottery never having a franchise qb. good luck continuing to sell the games. rather tank for a year or two and get a franchise qb then wallow in nothingness as my team forever gets unlucky with lottery

  23. how often is tanking really a problem in the NFL? the NBA ONE player can make a team, that’s not the case in the NFL unless that person is a #1 pick QB, which is far from a sure thing.

  24. I hate this idea. As a fan of a bad team the only thing you have to look forward to is getting a high draft pick. Bad teams need those top picks if they want to rebuild. Sure, some teams tank but I don’t think it’s a pervasive issue in football when there is 53 players on an active roster. It’s worse in the NBA (even with a lottery) because that one superstar can make a huge difference. The NFL does not need this.

  25. I’d prefer a lottery. The tanking for top players is disgusting. At least with the lottery (even if its rigged) teams don’t get rewarded, example, SIXERS!

    Trust the process going into it’s fifth year. They swear this year is going to be the year, but it isn’t.

  26. To quote the Jedi master, when you made this suggestion “a million mock drafting voices cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I’m afraid something terrible has happened”.

  27. The fact that the NFL can turn the draft lottery into another “event” that they can put on TV tells me they will probably do it.

  28. Design a better lock and someone will come up with a better lock pick.

    Why not accept the challenge and design competition around the worst as well as the best?

    Teams that make it to the playoffs try hard to show off their skills and win games to make money and satisfy their fans. Why not implement some form of recognition for failing miserably?

    As other have stated, the market will judge, but we could have some fun with it while the judges rule…

    The “winner” gets #1. Sort of a reverse playoff…

    Think of some awards.. Most Ridiculous Play (The Colts locked that up a couple of years ago). Worst Pass EVAR… Most Porous Offensive Line…

    While team’ s players and coaches strive to win, their owners and GMs sometimes push things the other way. Call it out and put it on display. I’ll be it dries up in two years.

    I mean really, if your team is that bad on your watch perhaps you (or it) should go away.

  29. Yeah because that works so well in the NBA that it stopped the 76ers from implementing “The process” and kept Mark Cuban from openly admitting to tanking the end of the season once they knew they couldn’t make the playoffs. . .

  30. Tanking in the NFL has never been much of an issue. The bigger issue is that teams have been known to bench starters in the last game. Winning teams do it to protect players from injuries going into the playoffs and teams at the bottom do it to see other players who may have spent much of the season on the bench. This sometimes impacts the playoff picture.

    The issue of NBA style tanking in the NFL media created. NFL first overall picks have yielded across the board results, and a sport that regularly plays 35+ players in every game, tanking is an exercise that just does not make much sense.

  31. I feel the NFL has the most level playing ground for teams of any major sport. With the new(ish) rookie wage scale it has brought even more balance to the league. The NBA’s draft is broken, I hate it and I don’t understand why you would want to mimick it. The draft isn’t changing anyway, the shield makes millions off from it as is.

  32. Look, Im a 76ers fan. Yes, they tanked. But…they also got jobbed on draft picks for 3 years, which kept them a terrible team.

    If they had gotten Wiggins and Anthony Towns, they wouldn’t be in the top 5 of the draft still…they got stuck taking an injured Embiid, which we have waited 3 years to see for a few games. Then we got stuck with Okafor, who sucks, and Ben Simmons who was injured his rookie year.

    This year the Celtics got the first pick. Really? The Celtics? Who were 53-29 got the first pick? And the 28-54 76ers get the third?

    Yeah, that makes for parity…No, I definitely don’t want that in the NFL.

  33. The Browns didn’t tank. Who tanks for a defensive end? Even the best can’t change a team – just look at JJ Watt. A QB, now? Sure. But not a DE.

  34. I seriously doubt that this happens. First, the Browns team and coaching staff didn’t tank. I don’t believe that the Jets players and coaches will tank. Their respective front offices may have made their team’s season more challenging, but that isn’t tanking. Second, and more importantly, the Draft is a huge money maker and mock drafts that are made throughout the season are a key part of that feeding frenzy. A lottery system would make the mocks less believable until after the lottery, most likely after the super bowl. The League won’t kill the cash cow to prevent one or two bad teams from losing 2 or 3 more games in a season.

  35. No way.. Don’t do ANYTHING the NBA does!!!

    PS Just to see how fixed the NBA is, Google ‘Lakers/Kings Game 6 2002’

  36. The NFL won’t do it for the same reason they won’t go with a college-style overtime – they don’t want to copy another league, because they don’t want to be seen as followers.

    The NFL draft is fine. It’s never going to be perfect and a lottery is definitely not perfect.

  37. What if the 11-5 2008 patriots won the first overall pick in the 2009 draft, while the 8-8 chargers had to sit back and watch with no shot, just because they made the playoffs?

    Who am I kidding, Rodger hates the pats so that never would have happened. Also, that draft absolutely sucked.

    But still. Don’t do it. It’s flawed.

  38. Great idea and long over due. Time to stop rewarding the perennial losers with top picks that they do nothing with anyway, and at the same time penalizing the other teams for winning. The best way is to simply have 32 balls thrown in to a lottery machine giving all teams an equal chance.

  39. I believe they call that killing an ant with a sledgehammer.

    So all we have to do to eliminate the possibility that one or two teams max per year (and even that is probably overstating the problem) tanking games is to throw the entire draft process into upheaval and the threaten the parity which is part of the reason the NFL is so much more popular than the NBA in the first place.

    Back to drawing board fellas.

  40. Use a lottery but tier the teams. The top tier are playoff teams and they are not lottery eligible. The bottom teams are not either. The middle tier gets the lottery, it would not be beneficial to tank. The upper middle teams would be fighting for a playoff spot, the lower teams would be fighting to get into the lottery.

  41. Jet fans won’t be complaining about losing. Not the real ones. IT hasn’t been too many 5-11 seasons and we can win 2 and be just as irrelevant. The worst problem is to not be in a position to draft a franchise qb when there is one because you don’t want to be embarrassed a few more times in 2017. Forget about it, is Jets fans begged for the tank! What’s the big deal, it’s a game. Lose big or don’t lose at all! Ask the colts and spurs.

  42. Rubbish! If draft order is so important why does Belichick compete every year picking at 30-32? Not to mention the times he got screwed out of any 1st rounder by desperately jealous owners.

    Go ahead and do a lottery fools. That way when the best coaches and GMs win they still have a chance to pick higher than the perennial losers!

    Teams that tank in the NFL stay losers because the coach and/or GM stink! e.g. Clots, Browns, Jets.

  43. And another thing. Given how demonstrably political and corrupt the NFL commisioner is, who believes the lottery would be above board anyway. May not be the best idea to give a proven liar more power.

  44. Bad idea… just like the NBA’s is a bad idea.

    Have you not noticed that NBA teams still tank?

    Only way to stop this is to fine teams that blatantly do this. Like the Bucs last year, for example. Fans SHOULD be the ones that “fine” teams by not showing up to games, but we all know they aren’t going to miss an opportunity to drink and be merry for tickets they’ve already paid for, so the NFL needs to step in. The fine should be more punitive than just money though. How about Salary Cap fines? Or loss of draft picks?

    An owner would gladly pay a $100,000 organizational fine in order to get the first pick in the draft that will increase the value of his franchise by millions. So it has to be something punitive to the competitive balance of that team.

  45. There is already a draft lottery. Aren’t draft picks pretty much a crap shoot anyway?

  46. I’m not sure if this post will get past the censors, but in my opinion the Browns didn’t deliberately tank in 2016. They simply hired an awful HC in Hue Jackson.

  47. What a stupid idea. So you want the teams that tank to go into a lottery draft? Make the Patriots better than what they are?

  48. The draft awesome, don’t screw with it. Mark Cuban openly admitted to tanking the season, and the NBA has a a lottery. The thesis of the post is flawed.

  49. eaglesw00t says:
    Jun 20, 2017 8:46 AM
    Look, Im a 76ers fan. Yes, they tanked. But…they also got jobbed on draft picks for 3 years, which kept them a terrible team.

    If they had gotten Wiggins and Anthony Towns, they wouldn’t be in the top 5 of the draft still…they got stuck taking an injured Embiid, which we have waited 3 years to see for a few games. Then we got stuck with Okafor, who sucks, and Ben Simmons who was injured his rookie year.

    This year the Celtics got the first pick. Really? The Celtics? Who were 53-29 got the first pick? And the 28-54 76ers get the third?

    Yeah, that makes for parity…No, I definitely don’t want that in the NFL.
    ==================================

    I don’t remember Laker fans drying about the 1979 draft.
    The Lakers had New Orleans 1st round pick from the Gail Goodrich trade and the number one pick in the draft was determined by a coin toss between the Lakers and the Bulls.
    The Laker won the toss and drafted Magic Johnson while the Bulls had to settle for David Greenwood.
    I believe the Lakers won a championship in Magic’s rookie season right?
    Boo hoo….

  50. In the NBA there might be five players at most every year that are real impact players. Everyone else is a role player – again, at best. In the NFL there are scores of players that start on day one. The size of the teams and number of positions account for this. In the NBA the first 2-3 players are the real gems, in the NFL the first two rounds hold the gems. While tanking in the NFL might make a difference when there is that potential franchise QB (suck for Luck), over all, tanking won’t change the possibility of making that much of a difference.

  51. Tanking a season only leads to culture of losing. In the NFL, one player probably wont change that.

    The browns have the top picks year after year and go no where. Lovie may have tanked for Winston…. and he was fired soon after. Same with Jim Caldwell when the Colts tanked.

    If there were to be a lottery, it should only include to bottom 5 teams. That will at least stop teams from aiming for 1-2 wins

  52. If you are really worried about tanking then just change the 1st overall pick and leave the rest alone.
    The team with the worst record picks 32nd or gets no 1st round pick at all.

    That is your motivation for trying to win even when you suck.

  53. Leave it as is…until you have 4-5 teams trying to tank and then, when that stink clears, start considering a lottery. Then divide the lottery among the eight worst team records, and then the next eight, and so on and so forth. And the second division games should be the last games of the year which would decide the division winner. And then select the 4 non-division winners with the best winning records to go to the playoffs: 8 teams from each conference. And the Super Bowl should should be played in the stadium of the team with the best record, and stop this nonsense of west coast/south coast super bowls.

  54. Adam McCune says:
    Jun 20, 2017 8:01 AM

    Sure, then the NFL can follow the NBA and rig the draft order

    If the NFL goes down the path of being like the NBA they will lose me as a fan. I honestly am not naïve enough to think that NFL teams don’t tank games but I also don’t think it is as blatant as NBA teams.

  55. This is, without a doubt, the most idiotic thing I have ever read on this site.

    Not only is tanking alive and well in the NBA, the lottery is so obviously fixed that even a grade school kid can see it. That first lottery in ’85 was fixed so that Patrick Ewing would play in New York. The 2012 draft was fixed so New Orleans, a city everyone was still feeling sorry for, could get Anthony Davis. Never mind that Charlotte, which had just finished the worst season in NBA history on a 23-game losing streak, was in much more dire of a need for Davis. The Timberwolves have been largely irrelevant for their entire existence, as have the Cavs unless LeBron was on their team. So several lotteries were fixed for the Wolves & Cavs. This year’s lottery was fixed so the Lakers could get Lonzo Ball, preventing LaVar Ball from pulling a Jack Elway / Archie Manning and forcing the team who drafts his son to trade him to his pre-determined team.

    And why did the NBA put the lottery in place to begin with? Because the Rockets, which dropped to 14 wins after Moses Malone left for Philly, tanked to get Ralph Sampson and then tanked again to get Hakeem Olajuwon. But it didn’t work. The Rockets didn’t win a title for 10 more years, after Sampson was long gone and they had traded for Clyde Drexler.

    The NBA draft lottery is badly flawed, and the NFL needs to run, not walk, as far away from the idea as possible.

  56. I’m torn because on one side parity suffers (has the NBA ever had parity?), and on the other I would have loved seeing the Colts get the second pick after the blatant “suck for Luck” campagain.

  57. philtration says:
    Jun 20, 2017 9:27 AM

    I don’t remember Laker fans drying about the 1979 draft.
    The Lakers had New Orleans 1st round pick from the Gail Goodrich trade and the number one pick in the draft was determined by a coin toss between the Lakers and the Bulls.
    The Laker won the toss and drafted Magic Johnson while the Bulls had to settle for David Greenwood.
    I believe the Lakers won a championship in Magic’s rookie season right?
    Boo hoo….

    ——————–

    Why would Lakers fans cry? Im not sure where youre going with this argument?? They had another teams pick. What are you talking about? lol

  58. Are you sure about that Michael because NBA teams have been tanking for years so implementing a lottery would not stop a tank from tanking

  59. Tanking does not only occur in regards to potential draft positions. Teams also tank in regards to potential playoff matchups. A 10-5 team who is bound for the playoffs as wildcard because their divisions champ has 13 wins going into the last game, might tank the last game so they can be the #6 seed and play the weak 9-7 #3 team who won their division.

    Also; the NFL comes with the very real possibility of an 8-8 team making the playoffs while a couple of 10-6 teams don’t. IF a lottery were installed, it would make more sense to use W-L records, not whether they made the playoffs.

    And if its about selling tickets at the end of the season, where’s the concern over a locked-in playoff team resting all of its starters at the end of the season?

  60. I find teams resting their starters when they can’t improve their playoff seeding equally bad. This results in an easy win, that frequently propels a team to the playoffs, at the expense of another team. Common sense fairness should have teams rest their starters only in truly meaningless games, with no effect on playoffs.

  61. Team owners admit to tanking in the NBA and they have a draft. How would it stop the NFL?

    The system they have is just fine. The problem isn’t tanking to get a top pick, it’s those teams that are always tempted to tank are changing coaches, and GMs every 2-3 years or less.

  62. A lottery is a terrible idea! Every sport that has one has complaints about it. In order to be able to “tank” you have to already be one of the worst teams in the league, and normally coaches in that position don’t have the job security to be able to “tank”. Tanking would likely get them fired, in most cases. I don’t think tanking is that big of an issue, certainly not big enough to warrant going to a lottery.

  63. Draft lottery is a bad idea.

    Since the NFL is all about making money, why not hold an auction for the first round with NFL teams bidding on the draft slots?At least that would be honest. A draft lottery would be subject to shenanigans. “Wink nod……Yeah Jerrah, how bout those cowboys!!!….”

  64. In most cases, if a team is purposely tanking, then they were already a bad team to begin with. It’s not like the Patriots are going to tank an entire season to get a better draft position.

  65. The good news?

    We just need to hang on through five more weeks of insipid stories like these until we get to real football news.

    Hang in there, gents.

  66. It’s a slippery slope. Sure, this puts an end to the shenanigans we saw with Tampa or more egregiously – Indianapolis, where it was so obvious, the league should have taken that draft pick away.

    That siad, you also risk punishing teams that legitimately suck. Like the Browns. I doubt they tanked just to draft Myles Garrett.

  67. Mark Cuban admitted his team tanked late this season to try to get a better draft pick, so a lottery in the NBA doesn’t work and won’t work in the NFL. But if Goodell decides it’s a way to increase ratings and revenue, then it’s a done deal.

  68. Why follow the NBA’s lead? Right now their ratings are behind the NHL’s ratings. If I have trouble falling asleep I just put on an NBA game….snooze!!!

  69. Our Redskins crusade and our Kaep agenda have failed so lets find a new horse to beat to death.

  70. Suck for Luck is so… true! Bill Polian and Peyton Manning (neither of whom would have any say in the inner working of the Colts at that time) both wanted fired! And remember all of those roster moves to get worse, like the Jets are doing right now? Me either.. Oh and go look up the actual games the Colts played that season. Leading almost half of their games at half time, despite Kerry Collins being older than dirt or Dan Orlovsky (who was the best of the lot) only playing a few games. It was Curtis Painter who you all vaguely remember, who was technically the back-up and “knew” the system..
    I lived that season. The Colts didn’t tank- in fact you could make an argument that the problems that plagued that team in 11′ (in the trenches, both sides) is still something that they’re trying to get right..

  71. I hate to say it, tanking will happen no matter what. If a team does not what to play the Pats in the playoffs, they might tank to fall into this draft lottery.

    Tanking happens no matter what. A draft lottery would make things a lot better.

  72. The NBA is an overall bad product…Period. If the NFL starts mimicking the NBA, then the NFL will probably follow suit. They’re already getting there all on their own. If you lose on purpose, that’s an integrity issue. It can also cause your fans to give up on season tickets even if you get the top pick. There are very few “top” picks every year that are going to change your team from a loser to a winner over night. Leave it alone….

  73. After Lebron left Cleveland for Miami, did you know that Cleveland then got the #1 Draft Pick 3 of the next 4 years..

    So they knew Lebron was coming back as soon as he left!

  74. An “equal chance for all 20 teams who miss the playoffs” sounds great in theory, right up until a 9-7 team gets the #1 pick and a 2-14 team gets #19.

    Then the same media members who are whining and complaining right now will whine and complain once again.

  75. Lots of excellent reasons above why bringing the draft lottery to the NFL wouldn’t work very well.

    But that’s never stopped #LyinRoger before from doing something idiotic…

  76. 12444uggg says:
    Jun 20, 2017 10:05 AM

    Suck for Luck is so… true! Bill Polian and Peyton Manning (neither of whom would have any say in the inner working of the Colts at that time) both wanted fired! And remember all of those roster moves to get worse, like the Jets are doing right now? Me either.. Oh and go look up the actual games the Colts played that season. Leading almost half of their games at half time, despite Kerry Collins being older than dirt or Dan Orlovsky (who was the best of the lot) only playing a few games. It was Curtis Painter who you all vaguely remember, who was technically the back-up and “knew” the system..
    I lived that season. The Colts didn’t tank- in fact you could make an argument that the problems that plagued that team in 11′ (in the trenches, both sides) is still something that they’re trying to get right..


    I’m certainly no Colts fan but I actually believe this. They didn’t really tank, they were just a lousy football team with a hideous defense, an atrocious OL and subpar coaching. They looked bad against the Jets in their one and done that January at home and had Peyton manning stayed on, if it were possible I would bet money they do not make the playoffs in 2011.

  77. After the literally hundreds of lies Roger has been caught in I would not trust a league office he is in charge of to do anything but rig a “lottery”.

  78. I haven’t watched the NBA since the late 80s, that league and sport long ago lost me as boring. Mimicking them would not be good thing.

  79. If someone can clearly explain why it’s “tanking” when you give younger players a chance to show what they have for next year, I might listen.

    Why are some people always trying to find solutions to problems that don’t really exist?

  80. factschecker | Jun 20, 2017, 8:10 AM EDT
    I don’t trust the NFL enough to think there wouldn’t be any shenanigans. I’m not being snarky. I feel the league office would pull the strings they felt would collectively make them the most money.

    I like the risk that is already linked to tanking. If you tank then you risk losing the moral portion of your fan base.

    As a Pat’s fan you realize that moral portion of the base is three nuns at Our Sisters of Mercy Retirement Home ….? You saying your not being snarky made me throw up in my mouth.

    Leave it the way it is. It’s not perfect but it’s been working quite well for sometime. Teams drafting well in the current system proves it can work.

  81. eaglesw00t says:
    Jun 20, 2017 9:44 AM
    philtration says:
    Jun 20, 2017 9:27 AM

    I don’t remember Laker fans drying about the 1979 draft.
    The Lakers had New Orleans 1st round pick from the Gail Goodrich trade and the number one pick in the draft was determined by a coin toss between the Lakers and the Bulls.
    The Laker won the toss and drafted Magic Johnson while the Bulls had to settle for David Greenwood.
    I believe the Lakers won a championship in Magic’s rookie season right?
    Boo hoo….

    ——————–

    Why would Lakers fans cry? Im not sure where youre going with this argument?? They had another teams pick. What are you talking about? lol
    ======================================

    I am talking about a Laker fan crying in the original comment about how they were screwed on several occasions and whining about the Celtics having the 1st overall pick with one of the best records in the NBA.
    It is ok to read the entire post before jumping off the deep end you know.
    More people should try it.

  82. Everyone commenting that tanking in the NBA obviously did not read the article. Florio is proposing a lottery under the old NBA system that gave every team that didn’t get into the playoffs equal chance. NBA tanking is occurring because the new NBA lottery gives non playoff teams better odds the worse their record is.

  83. Fans hate draft lotteries. It’d be even more stupid for an underachieving 9-7 to have the same odds of getting the top pick as an overachieving 5-11 team. Next.

  84. This is so stupid. The top of the NFL draft is such a crapshoot. It’s not like the top of the draft in the NBA or NHL (particularly the NHL). You can’t tell me the draft in these aren’t rigged. The Buffalo sabres had the two worst records for two years and lost both lotteries and a superstar generational player. The year after that, Toronto tanks and was “lucky (hint hint)” to win the draft and obtain another superstar generational talent. The worst teams should get the top picks. Simple as that. If you’re not making the playoffs, why is it a problem to want to lose? As a Bills fan, we’ve been drafting in the 9-17 spot for nearly 2 decades. In that time, we haven’t been in the playoffs. Heck, I wish the Bills would tank so we could roll the dice on the QB crapshoot at the top of the draft.

  85. This is a crazy idea that needs explaining.

    “Any team winning LESS than 5 games CANNOT TRADE their 1st round pick.”

    That might make a GM think twice about tanking.
    The premise that their team is sooo bad they need quality draft picks. No trading the pick for a bevy of later picks.

    So it’s a penalty and enhancement all in one.

  86. You could hold it in Indianapolis at the Guyer Institute and call it the “SuckForLuck” Bill Polian could throw needles at a draft board.

  87. Using PFTs scenario for the lottery:

    A 9-6 team on the cusp of the playoffs has this to think about…

    Win and they’re in. But know they have little chance to win the SuperBowl much less even one playoff game. They also know that with every playoff win they achieve and still don’t make it to the SuperBowl that their draft position gets further and further from the top. OR – they lose and miss the playoffs and are eligible for the draft lottery with the same chance to get the #1 overall pick as the worst team (in PFTs lottery scenario).

    Who here honestly thinks the team wouldn’t tank? Small chance to win in the playoffs vs equal chance at the #1 pick in the draft and improve their odds for the playoffs the following year?

    Adding a lottery does NOT end tanking as PFT suggests; it would simply shift which teams do it.

  88. Why not just penalize a team for obviously tanking? Have the league send out a notice a few weeks prior to the end of the season stating that late-season games will be subject to special scrutiny.

    I don’t think the answer is to institute a lottery that can work to deprive honestly bad teams of needed picks.

  89. tanking isn’t as big of a problem in football because one player doesn’t have as a big of an impact on a team as it does in basketball. Also there is a much steeper learning curve in the NFL for college players than there is in the NBA.

  90. Do it. The whole suck for Luck thing reeked and it always does with these teams getting cute at the end of the season. Its not credible to just tank a game or a season. Jets started this year before a game even commenced. Suck for Sam is alive and well.

  91. Why is the picture not of Andrew Luck and Bill Polian. The Bucs tanked only one game. The Colts tanked an ENTIRE season

  92. A lottery doesn’t stop the tanking in the NBA. If anything it encourages it.

    How?

    Because everyone knows that in order to get the #1 pick, you have to not just tank a little, you have to tank ALOT.

    Lottery= competitive tanking. You compete how hard you tank.

    Plus in the end bad teams get screwed and languish, while some are unjustly rewarded.

    Remember Orlando winning twice? Or how about Cleveland winning, what 3 times after LeBron left, only for him to return.

    No, just keep it as it is.

  93. haughville says:
    Jun 20, 2017 10:17 AM

    The NBA is an overall bad product…Period. If the NFL starts mimicking the NBA, then the NFL will probably follow suit. They’re already getting there all on their own. If you lose on purpose, that’s an integrity issue. It can also cause your fans to give up on season tickets even if you get the top pick. There are very few “top” picks every year that are going to change your team from a loser to a winner over night. Leave it alone….

    I will take it a step further and say the NBA in certain ways is a horrendous product and like a previous poster said I haven’t watched it in a long time or will I. You have only two teams with a legit chance, tanking if openly admitted, and their system is not set up to even have a chance at parity of teams.

    And I completely agree that if the NFL goes down that path it will become a bad product as well.

  94. Integrity of the game is compromised when teams tank the season. Not only is it a disservice to that team’s fans, but also cheats teams that are actually trying to win by assuring that the tanking team’s draft picks will be better. It also can skew which teams make the playoffs because it is an advantage if a tanking team is on your schedule and a disadvantage if not. I am in favor of any lottery system that gives very limited incentive for a team to tank. If teams like the Colts, Browns, Jets, Bucs are successful due to tanking then there will be much more of it in the future. Tanking is actually an attempt to fix the outcome of games—Integrity??

  95. Team with the worst record gets pick #3
    Second worst gets #2
    Third worst gets #1

    Impossible to steer your team to the 3rd worst record. These teams all suck so they won’t get shafted by a free for all lottery or an NFL rigged lottery. They’ll still get one of the 3 best draftees.

    Or – fine the owner of the worst team 2 gates to be donated to concussion sufferers. That will ensure no tanking.

  96. Do you guys ever have a good idea? One of the reasons the NFL is so popular is because of the parity. Bad teams don’t stay bad for long and good teams don’t stay good for long, with some exceptions. A big part of that is the draft. If your worst teams only have a 5% chance of getting the top pick, they aren’t going to get better very quickly.

  97. The fallacy here is that getting the #1 pick is somehow a guarantee of a team getting a can’t-miss player.

    All you have to do is look at Sam Bradford and Jared Goff to know #1 overall is no guarantee of anything.

  98. The draft lottery is a disaster and only benefits winning clubs with talent and does little or nothing for teams at the bottome of the standings. Leave the NFL Draft alone and quit pitching this disaster to the NFL. Let the NBA have its disastrous draft lottery and move on. Get a life.

  99. Yes, the integrity of the game is compromised when teams tank at the end of the season, but I don’t trust lotteries, and I trust the NFL even less. With lotteries everyone would assume the fix is in, especially if the first year after Brady and/or Belichick retires and the Patriots get the 1st pick overall.

    No, let the draft be decided on the field.

  100. …or, they could just leave well enough alone, which is likely despite any attempt to make stupid suggestions.

  101. I have at least 100 opinions about an NFL draft lottery.

    The first 99 are along the general lines of “NOOOOOOOOO, please NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!”

    100. If the league is hell-bent to (yet again) poop on its fan base and implement a draft lottery, then televise the drawing to at least give the illusion that the outcome is legit.

  102. Dumb idea for many reasons already mentioned. I’d only add a couple more to point at the difference between the NFL and the NBA:

    1. NFL teams tank to get the #1 pick as opposed to a top 5 pick they’d get otherwise (2016 Jets still ended up with the #6 pick despite their best efforts.)

    2. Tanking in the NFL is harder to distinguish (the performance drop off between the 5-11 Jets and the 2-14 Jets will be insignificant.)

    3. The disparity in the NFL is huge compared to the NBA. Bears, Jaguars, Niners and Browns won at best 20% of their games last season. Brooklyn, the worst NBA team this year, still won 25% of the games (which translates to a 4-12 record in the NFL). The Sixers would have a 5-11 record, which was exactly what the Jets and Chargers achieved without tanking.

  103. Draft lotteries & uncapped salaries are scams promoted by big ticket markets, who want to use their revenue advantage as a means to manipulate other owners (via shared revenue agreements) into allowing for unfair advantages being extended to the higher markets. Apart from the same teams every years, competitiveness disappears…making the events uninteresting & pointless to watch (main reason I don’t watch the NBA, EVER).

    Who gives a crap if a team chooses to lose? Ultimately, every team in the NFL is given the same opportunity for rewards. Whether those rewards are for winning or losing, every team is provided a level standard (apart from referee manipulation that already occurs). If losing is a method a team chooses to use to facilitate getting better, so be it. Personally, I think that’s a terrible idea…but hey, I don’t care. But I do care about the fairness of the game…and any effort to subvert the fairness equates to me not watching.

  104. How about we just eliminate the ability of teams to trade draft picks. No more stacking a crapload of picks by trading away early picks. No more supplemental picks. You simply get the 7, picks you’re entitled to and the free agents you can afford. This would help with parity.

  105. why do people question the NBA for a rigged draft lottery but yet they continue to watch a professional sport that is more than likely rigging it’s games?

    If the NBA is rigged and soccer is rigged, once can assume the NFL is rigged. It’s all bleeping rigged. Follow the money, CHUMPS!

  106. There is an unavoidable conflict between this and other measures to stop “tanking,” and the draft’s purpose of enhancing competitive balance by helping the weakest teams improve. I would err on the side of helping the weakest teams improve.

  107. Why not link the mandatory minimum salary cap amount to the teams record? For instance, the team with the worse record MUST spend 99% of their available cap space that offseason. They must work to make their team better and the owners are somewhat penalized by needing to spend the full cap space. The team the wins the superbowl only needs to spend 50% of their available cap space. Most winning teams are going to spend close to the full amount, but this gives a better chance for parity as the better teams can siphon more cash to the owner (rewarding them for putting together a good team) but doing so will hurt their ability to compete. The ownership of the bad teams are forced to put the full amount towards bettering their team. It is a small change that will not end all issues but it will make ownership chase some late season wins just to give them flexibility in the salary cap.

  108. The best way to prevent tanking is to create a Minor League and figure out some method of relegation, like they have in the Premier League.

  109. I guess that millennials think the draft lottery is cool because these braindead youngsters think the NBA is better with their “favorite team” the Warriors ruling the roost.

  110. Less people watch the NBA than the NHL. If the NFL keeps going the way it has been they will join the NBA club.

    Go ahead and walk off that cliff and I get 4 to 8 hours of my life back every week.

  111. How about a 3 tier lottery?

    Playoff teams – not eligible, order determined by finish
    Middle 10 teams – eligible for picks 11-20
    Last 10 teams – eligible for picks 1-10

    Odds of first pick determined by number of losses

    2017 Example – 117 total losses by bottom 10 teams

    example: The browns would have 15 ping pong balls (or whatever) out of 117.

    Browns 15 12.82%
    49ers 14 11.97%
    Jaguars 13 11.11%
    Bears 13 11.11%
    Rams 12 10.26%
    Chargers 11 9.40%
    Jets 11 9.40%
    Panthers 10 8.55%
    Bengals 9 7.69%
    Eagles 9 7.69%

    Pros
    No major incentive to “tank” but still provides slightly better odds for bad teams.

    Cons
    A 7-9 or even 8-8 team could end up with the number one pick while the worst team could in theory pick at 10.

    Process would repeat for teams/picks 11-20.

    I’m not saying its a great idea but it’s a different idea.

    Thoughts?

  112. Teams eliminated from being in the playoffs in the last week have a lottery for the first picks.
    Next to last week eliminated, a lottery for next picks, and so forth.
    Stop rewarding sandbaggers.

  113. I’ll admit that as a Jet fan, I’m not planning on watching a game this season. I’ve endured bad Jets teams before, but this is the first time I feel like they’re throwing in the towel before Game 1.

    It’s really only worth tanking for the first pick, and even then, only when someone like Andrew Luck or Adrian Peterson is coming up. So just make it so the worst team picks third instead of first. That’s a high enough pick that you can still improve your team, but if you aren’t guaranteed either of the top two prospects, I don’t think there’s sufficient incentive to be the worst. You might be okay with 5-11, but you won’t be okay with 3-13. Those two games might not look like much in the standings, but they at least show the fans you’re trying.

    And if you’re doing your best and you’re still 13-3 or worse, well, then maybe you should be punished anyway.

  114. That would suck.

    Instead, count the final four games of the season against next season as well. So if you tank, your new hope of a team starts off next season 0-4, but if you play hard, you can start 4-0 before you even take the field.

  115. After suffering for years with home town teams at the bottom of the food chain and hoping that a high pick will turn team around… If they go to a lottery, I will no longer be a NFL fan.

  116. Of course fans of winning teams want a lottery…because they never get to pick early!

    Meanwhile, they need to remember how most of them got their franchise QBs.

    Lottery is a horrible idea.

  117. They should do it like the NHL. The top ten worst teams should be put in a lottery. The worse your record the higher your odds of winning the top pick. This would prevent teams from tanking on purpose but still give them greater odds of getting the top picks.

  118. I am surprised at the number of idiots who think that an ex-NFL player discussing this with a hack wannabe-agent qualifies as “The NFL is screwing up a good thing!!!”

  119. There’s zero chance the NFL will switch to a draft lottery. It would annoy everyone and accomplish nothing (NBA teams still tank).

  120. The NFL doesn’t need a lottery. The NBA has 5 players on the court at a time. Even if the teams tank it’s no sure thing if they don’t pick good players, or if the suck at development or any number of things. The only reason to tank is to get a QB and you can screw that up (Ryan Leaf ), or if they don’t fit a system. If they can’t process the defense fast enough (Winston, Newton have troubles in the pocket).

  121. The NFL owes the Patriots a 1st and a 4th round draft pick to make up for the stolen 2016 and 2017 picks. The Patriots deserve the top pick in both rounds as extra compensatory picks to make up for not having the players on the roster already.

    The NFL can announce that they are awarding the draft picks right after the NFL issues a press release containing the PSI information that was collected during the 2015 NFL season.

  122. The NBA lottery is rigged and the NFL would most likely follow suit. I’m vehemently against the lottery and the NFL has the best draft coverage in all of sports

  123. You gotta love the hypocrisy of the Hatriots fans

    They actually think it’s “cheating” of when football PSI actually follows the Laws of Physics

    But when teams are openly fixing games to “Suck for Luck” etc. – well, they have no problem with that.

    They’ll just go off on a rant stating that because the Patriots broke a new, obscure 2006 rule in the first half of the first game of the 2007… that such a violation invalidates all games played from 2001-2003 before the rule even existed.

    Gosh – my head hurts just from trying to think like jealous fans of 31 other teams and understand THAT warped logic!

  124. First of all, you’re never going to get rid of tanking. To develop young players faster, you have to play them more, and in the process you lose more games.

    I’d prefer an auctioning system to the one currently in place. Award “auction points” to a team depending on their finish. Maybe allow points to used as trade currency. Allow some fraction of any unused points to be carried over to the next year.

    Doing it this way, a team will have to spend points in proportion to the perceived value of the player. The current system has teams tanking to get one particular player – usually a quarterback.

  125. The lottery has totally eliminated tanking in the NBA. I’ve never heard of a team: “Trusting the process” in regards to tanking or anything like that.

    It’s interesting that you bring up the Tampa Bay Bucs and Lovie Smith losing the last game on purpose in order to get the number 1 pick. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what NFL team Lovie Smith is coaching now. Look in the NFL you only get 16 games/16 chances to prove your worth or earn a job. It’s not like basketball where there are 82 games so every player and coach have multiple chances to prove themselves. Every week people are completing for jobs in the NFL. I refuse to believe that there is a legitimate tanking problem.

Leave a Reply