Player, agent anger could result in push for 2011 pre-draft boycott

Amid ongoing speculation regarding a possible player strike during the 2010 season (and some very influential people in union circles are now openly talking about the possibility of a December walkout, if it could be legally accomplished), another potential weapon has emerged for players who feel that they have been cornered by the rules of the uncapped year — and management’s decision to take, in most instances, full advantage of the situation.

Players and agents are frustrated by the low activity in free agency and the slow pace of the labor negotiations.  One agent outlined for us today a possible assault on one of the tools that teams will have available even after the current labor deal expires in March 2011.

With or without a new deal in place, a rookie draft will be held in April.  But, as a practical matter, the players who are drafted won’t be paid a dime until the labor situation is resolved.  When they are, they likely will be forced to deal with a true rookie wage scale.

So, as the agent explained, why should the players who are in line to be drafted do anything to assist the process?

Under this scenario, incoming players would refuse to participate in postseason all-star games like the Senior Bowl, the Scouting Combine, and any pre-draft Pro Day or individual workouts.

It sounds good in theory, but it will be hard to make it stick.  For starters, the agents representing the bulk of the incoming rookies would need to be on board with the strategy, willing and able to explain to the players that it’s in their best interests to decline to participate in the process, since it will help all players get a new labor deal done.  Sure, some guys who are on the fringes of the incoming player pool would break ranks in the hopes of cementing their chances of getting drafted at all, but if most of the key agents are on board, it just might work.

Though it remains to be seen whether any such effort is attempted, we fully expect the growing discontent among players and agents to manifest itself via one or more aggressive tactics directed against the league.  Coordinating a boycott of the pre-draft process by players not yet in the union would be one of the most daring plans, but also potentially one of the most effective.

34 responses to “Player, agent anger could result in push for 2011 pre-draft boycott

  1. “So, as the agent explained, why should the players who are in line to be drafted do anything to assist the process?”
    Because some team is about to give them the chance to realize their childhood dream playing pro ball, and paying them for it. Even with a rookie scale it would be more money than 99.9% of these guys would make in their entire life outside football. And there will be more money for vets which all these guys have the ego to believe they will be in 3 years. Any college player that sat out would almost obviously be in it more for money than love and that speaks loudly.

  2. The player agents spoke at great length of the long term benefits of solidarity to their young clients but most seemed distracted, fiddling with their jewellry, or picking at scabs.

  3. NFLPA needs to stop it. Is fighting for 59.4% of revenue really worth it? Why isn’t 56% sufficient? The game is what matters most. Working WITH the league will accomplish more than fighting against it, regardless of who the instigator was.

  4. Good idea dumbasses…boycott your future employer who is willing to pay you millions of dollars…sounds like a smart decision…

  5. That truly sounds like a ch*ckensh*t strategy — resting the players and agent’s unhappiness on the backs of the young players.

  6. If in fact there is a rookie wage scale in 2011, most players wouldn’t need an agent. What purpose would they serve for most of the players?

  7. The owners should have gotten together long ago and put the players in their place. The reason the free agents are so mad is because they know they can’t do anything else in life. Plus they have to keep up the payments on their nine cars, their broke homeys and their gaudy line of necklaces.

  8. Is this intended to be funny?
    I feel like my intelligence has been insulted, even though I am not going to be a potential NFL rookie next year.

  9. Fu*k the agents most of them are nothing but parasitic scum.
    As to the players, aren’t those players who accepted scholarships required to play in the bowl games ? Or will they not give a damn at that point since it won’t matter if their scholarships are revoked or not ?

  10. Aside from the fact that this has zero chance of happening, the players better get it together. They have gotten their asses stomped and came crawling back everytime and they are really going to get crushed bad next year. Go ahead and walk out and see what happens.

  11. Funny if all the agents and players ban together is that not collusion? I love how all of these leeches that lives off of these players act like they care about anything but money. Agents like every other type of lawyer should be buried alive.

  12. The boycott of the Combine and Pro days was by the top rated players was bound to happen one of these days. If they’re already rated high 1st round material, why should they jeopardize a potentially bad outing or pull a hammie? Not sure if the lower rated players or 2nd rounders would accept this though. And who does the rating? League scouts or the Mel Kipers? Too often some players and families look at ESPN and take it as gospel.

  13. Aren’t you the same guy posting something about collusion by owners and the T.O situation?
    Does this not mount to collusion as well? Actually the results of this are far more serious to the league than any T.O. situation.
    Don’t you just love it when a bunch of millionaires on both sides are squabbling?
    A Rookie Salary Cap MUST be in place. (see JaFat-one)

  14. they sure could jeopardize themselves into falling in the draft.
    and define “top rated”.
    most players wont boycott that stuff, and the ones who do will watch their value plummet.

  15. Mike Daly says:
    NFLPA needs to stop it. Is fighting for 59.4% of revenue really worth it? Why isn’t 56% sufficient? The game is what matters most. Working WITH the league will accomplish more than fighting against it, regardless of who the instigator was.
    Unfortunately, there isn’t a union on the planet that doesn’t bring an us vs. them attitude toward management to the workplace. The stupidity of such a mentality becomes blatantly obvious when we are discussing spoiled millionaires being paid to chase a ball around a field for a living.

  16. This long time fan and season ticket holder and survivor of the last two strikes has gotten to the point where I’m almost ready to say F ’em all.

  17. Florio, are you pushing to get a job as assistant counsel to the NFLPA? Your shameless cheer leading for the players cause over the owners is downright embarrassing.
    It is AMAZING how the players can brazenly engage in activities that would immediately be termed collusion if the owners were to even sniff at such things. The players are EMPLOYEES, and the DO NOT and NEVER WILL have the same amount of leverage. OWNERS make the rules. PLAYERS do as they are told. If they don’t like that, they can pony up the money to buy a team and THEN they can be partners in the enterprise…not before.

  18. In my opinion the uncapped year is good because teams can
    pay their star players(peyton manning,Tom Brady etc.) without having to worry about a cap and still have money left over to pay other players and the owners and G.M ‘s are taking full advantage of the situation to justify no contract extensions for vetrans (bill polian a.j. Smith) especially with the uncapped year with no restrictions on the money u can give them

  19. I find it funny that the Players “union” would be complaining again about the “uncapped year. Its not like they didn’t know about the restrictive rules before hand. They did, but they didn’t let their clients know. Otherwise the players would have been clamoring for a deal BEFORE this season.
    I’m a liberal union member who will be four square behind the owners if this labor situation breaks down. The sheer dumbness of the players “union” and their agent allies is just plain criminal.

  20. If I was an owner in the league and the agents / rookies boycotted those events, I would simply conduct my draft based on the players game tapes etc….so what if I have a little less “data” to now base my decision. I probably will be almost as effective at judging talent.

  21. You’re such a badass Florio. I think you’re trying to be the Fidel Castro of the uncapped year, with all of your ideas of anarchy and how to stick it to the man. Haha, although sum of your Raider bashing articles are boring, I do get a kick out of articles like this. Can’t wait til the Raiders make the playoffs. What will you fill in that slot with, maybe how the Chargers ownership sent their team down the drain?

  22. I don’t know about you guy but I feel like the child in a middle of a bitter divorce. All I know is if there is a strike or a lock out, I will boycott the NFL. Maybe then they will realize that the fans are the ones that allow both sides to do this for a living. If they want to take away my football I will just start watching the CFL or the UFL, spend my hard earned money on their merchandise and make them rich. Screw them!

  23. There’s a reason that the NFLPA is the weakest union in professional sports…………SOLIDARITY!
    This Union has traditionally catered to the top echelon of the players, approximately 10%,( the super-stars) with the other 90% following in the misguided belief that the will or should be in the elite. With the average player life at approx. 3.5 years the prospect of sitting out a year on strike is preposterous……….it will never happpen.

  24. # robert ethen says: July 14, 2010 7:04 PM
    The player agents spoke at great length of the long term benefits of solidarity to their young clients but most seemed distracted, fiddling with their jewellry, or picking at scabs.
    You forgot to add:
    …scabs, and playing with their jolly rancher candy wrappers”

  25. It’s amazing how everyone comes down on the side of the owners. Folks, this is a business dispute: millionaires vs billionaires.
    What the players want is a percentage. It’s the owners who raise ticket prices, not the players. If the owners raise ticket prices, the players get more money. If the owners lower ticket prices, the players get less money. If the players are being paid so much that ticket prices “have to go up” (which is what the owners will tell you), it makes no sense, because the formula is the other way around. Revenues drive up player salaries. Player salaries don’t drive up revenues. The players are not in control of the cost of attending a game. The owners are. So don’t let the owners sell this idea that your season tickets cost more because they have to pay so much to the players. It’s the opposite. The owners raise ticket prices to maximize their revenues, and player salaries go up in response to that. That’s the contract.

  26. Here is the flip side if they do not show up at the combine or the bowel games dont draft them let them get those high paying Gym teacher jobs that they have earned
    Cut the crap your the employees STFU and work

  27. Eventually, the fans will boycott all professional sports. I am thinking about starting a website now to push the envelope on it. Professional sports is no different than the US Government. They take our money & then piss down our back & tell us it is raining. In both scenarios, Govt & Sports, if we hold back our money & show our discontent with what they are doing with our money, they will frantically do exactly what we say. It just takes a stand from the little men & women of the world to get it done!

  28. And if the players work together in a “demonstration” that isn’t a legitimate strike or the like, how is that NOT collusion?

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