Julio Jones wants to “shake the commissioner’s hand” in New York


Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones either hasn’t paid attention to the flap over rookies attending the NFL Draft or he’s not too concerned about it.

As a projected top-15 pick, he wants to get the usual rookie treatment.

“I have not heard anything about that, but hopefully I will be there to shake the commissioner’s hand,” Jones told WQXI via SportsRadioInterviews.com.   “Yes, sir, I want an opportunity to go to New York and be able to experience that.”

PFT Live guest Colin Kaepernick said he will spend draft day with his family.  Kaepernick said he decided on this route before the work stoppage began, but staying home could be a popular route for youngsters who don’t want to be caught in the middle of a labor war.

Jones apparently isn’t worried about any pressure coming from the NFLPA* just yet.  He wants to get his man hug from Roger Goodell, just like last year’s crop of rookies.

26 responses to “Julio Jones wants to “shake the commissioner’s hand” in New York

  1. Thank you Julio Jones. The Draft belongs to us the fans. If the morons known as the NFL and the NFLPA* actually gave a BLEEP about the ‘NFL shield’ they’ve been trying to ‘protect’ all these seasons they’d stop all this silliness.

  2. BIG difference between the two. Jones is a definite top 15 probably top 10 pick whereas Kaepernick will probably be drafted in Day 2.

    More power to Julio Jones. I remember seeing him play in the Army All Star game for the best HS players in the country several years ago.

    He deserves his day as do many others. Shame on the NLFPA , this has nothing to do with the lockout. The Draft was agreed upon.

  3. Good for Julio Jones.

    This is a lifetime experience; it’s easy for veteran players who have already had the opportunity to walk across the stage to tell rookies to skip such an important event.

    This isn’t about solidarity amongst the players against the owners. This is about Julio Jones.


  4. I have been unfailingly on the NFLPA’s side during this whole CBA negotiation but I don’t like the rookies getting caught in the middle. It isn’t fair.

    Let the rookies have their day in the sun at the draft. They don’t have a dog in this fight yet.

  5. The rookies most certainly do have a dog in this fight if they plan to play in the National Football League. Their opportunity to earn bigtime salaries was built on the blood, sweat, and broken bones of generations of players who earned dirt and were thrown on the trash heap when their careers ended. I’m sorry the majority of PFTers don’t like hearing that, but it’s the truth. And few of you thought Roger Goodell’s hand was worth shaking last year when he was making moronic decisions about games in the UK instead of thinking about his home fanbase.

    I love the draft as much you guys, but it will go on whether players are there or not. And the draft is about telling players where they’ll play whether they like it or not, so it’s not necessarily the fulfillment of their dreams. Given a choice between shaking Goodell’s hand or the hand of a star receiver at a player-hosted event, I’d think Julio would prefer to meet the player.

    As a diehard Alabama fan, I want what’s best for Julio. The suits might be glad he showed up at draft day but they’ll forget his name five minutes later. His teammates will be the guys who have his back throughout his career. If the players want to support the draft, fine. But if they stage an alternative event, I hope some of the current NFL starters with whom he played on the 09 National Championship team will contact Julio and explain the benefit of attending the alternate event.

  6. Apparently the players have decided not to pressure incoming rookies to avoid the New York ceremony. Only those expected to go in the first few picks are invited, so now they can decide to attend (or not) without any misgivings. Good news for Julio.

  7. The bunch of tards that are formerly know as the NFL Players Union can’t afford the airfare to the show…that’s really what’s goin’ down.

  8. I didn’t think it was possible for me to like Julio even more, but this about does it. The players have the rest of their lives to be union shills, they can at least wait until they sign contracts.

  9. Hey Julio, don’t listen to the statist union supporters or the artist formerly known as the NFLPA. They have no right to rob you of what they themselves so eagerly enjoyed! None! Go and enjoy yourself with the understanding that it is the players and their reps who need to be more concerned how the owners will treat them for their rejection of common sense negotiation in favor of litigation. Besides, most of the player reps will be retired in 2 to 5 years, and much of the talent is too busy making it a rain at the local strip club to care what you choose to do on draft day. Enjoy the draft!

  10. Julio just moved up a few spots in the draft.

    Some team is going to get a phenomenal football player with Julio.

  11. The NFL Draft is a once in a lifetime experience that only a select few rookies get to attend, I would hope that those selected to go take the chance to experience it. Stand up against the idiot players who want to them to boycott it.

  12. Wow … you PFT readers are a loyal bunch. All about backing your buds. Bet you spell TEAM with an I. 😆

  13. @skins1976

    So if the players are really retarded, why are you a fan of the games they play in?

    Oh that’s right, you’re not.

    Just another plant.

  14. What makes the draft such an ‘important event’ to these incoming players?

    I don’t remember such an outcry when Joe Thomas went fishing with his father.

    In fact, if I recall it was one of the more memorable moments of the draft since the Jets fans chanted “we want Sapp”.

    Joe Thomas was praised by fans for enjoying time with his family, nobody ragged on him for not showing up.

    Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that like the head of the union, the majority of the players are a few shades darker than the Browns Left Tackle.

    What’s so important about a man hug from GODell anyways? He’s made it clear enough the only thing he cares about is making more revenue for the owners, at the expense of the players.

    Adrian Peterson might agree, that’s like kissing the slave master before he gets ready to whip you.

  15. personally i hope the commisioner is booed off the stage. i think everyone should ignore the draft and that will send a message to both parties to get a deal done.

  16. @ Deb

    The current players don’t give a DAMN about the blood, sweat, tears, and broken bones of the guys that came before them. Why should these rookies give a damn about guys who will be out of the league by the time their careers are halfway done? Guys like Saturday and Vrabel will be long gone. Guys like Mawae and Bruschi–and I love Bruschi–are already gone talking as if their still in a locker room.

    There is no union according to D Smith, so exactly what ‘union’ rules are these rookies breaking or not being loyal to? Or is the decertification a sham? (We all know it is.). You can’t have both.

    Another point is that BOTH sides knew that the 2011 draft would be the last official event on the calender. So, for the NFLPA* to pull this power play on the rookies was ridiculous to begin with. It’s nice to see them back tracking somewhat, but I’m not naive. I know that some vets will hold it against these rookies. But, if I was a top 10 pick, I’d figure out the salary of the 2010 rookie drafted at my slot, figure out the difference from what I signed since there will be a rookie wage scale, and demand that the vets split the difference. Think that’ll happen? If not, then I’d attend the draft and tell them to eff off!

  17. Who care’s about shaking Roger’s hands? He probably won’t even be the commisionaire after all of this is said and done. I mean really what has Roger done for football for Julio to honored to shake his hand? He’s just another suit in a risky business. I can understand him wanting to go for a lifetime experience. If it’s just a shake Rogers hand thou, then maybe he’s been getting turned on by those previous man hugs filled with tears of joy. So this is what its come down to. SMH

  18. @ 904blasta

    No one was pressuring Joe Thomas not to attend. It was his CHOICE.

    The NFLPA* is pressuring incoming rookies NOT to attend despite what they say. The rookies are damned if they do and damned if they don’t, which is not fair.

    For you to even suggest that it’s a racial thing shows your lack of maturity and intelligence. It should be a CHOICE not a demand or suggestion. And there should be ZERO repercussions from any vets. If D Smith was a true leader, he would relay that message to the vets.

    For them to still be pushing the notion that it’s OK for the rookies to attend just shows that they really wish that they wouldn’t, which takes away the choice.

  19. “Another point is that BOTH sides knew that the 2011 draft would be the last official event on the calender.”

    The draft is one thing, but the league has turned it into a $$$$ making prime time television extravaganza that no one envisioned when the CBA was signed back in 2006. Why should the NFLPA* players be happy that the league is stuffing extra $$$ into its lockout warchest?

  20. @bcgreg …

    You don’t see a reference to the union in my post. I wrote about incoming players being loyal to their new teammates–all their teammates, not just Mike Vrabel or Jeff Saturday. It’s those players–past, present, and future–who will ensure they’re paid commensurate with the revenue they generate, who will ensure they have health care, and who will ensure they have something to fall back on in retirement.

    Former players receive their benefits out of the percentage of revenue negotiated by today’s players in the CBA. A significant portion of revenue earmarked for current player salaries was just reallocated to retirees. So yes, they do care about the players who went before them.

    As a fan, I love the draft. But let’s be real: Few of us would celebrate being sent to a city or employer for several years with no choice in the matter. And the spectacle of having early-pick prospects at the draft is a recent development. Many drafts went by without any college kids sitting in New York. So you guys turning this into some kind of rite of passage is ridiculous.

    I thought it was a mistake for the players to ask rookies invited to the draft to skip the ceremony because it’s bad PR and puts the kids in the middle. I’m glad they’ve let the kids off the hook. And since they’ve told the kids it’s not a problem, they will not hold it against them.

  21. Love it, hopefully others will follow his lead. It figures though…If a player was going to make this kind of statement, you just knew it would be a diva, er, I mean, wide receiver.

  22. @ Deb

    You say that you don’t mention the term ‘union’ yet you imply that the incoming rookies should be loyal to their future teammates. I’d assume that the reason why would be because once they’re in the league, they’ll have to be a member of the UNION! The current players don’t want them to attend for solidarity reasons because they know that their decertification is a sham and that they are still a union.

    With a new rookie wage scale, the incoming rookies will NOT be paid what they’re worth. Veteran players will have slashed their earnings potential by accepting the rookie wage scale. Why would the # 1 pick give a damn about what a vet that slashed his pay by $20 million has to say about him attending the draft.

    As far as attending the draft being a rite of passage, that’s just what it’s become. I don’t know when it started, but part of the experience for the top prospects is to be invited and attend the draft. There was never a media day during Super Bowl week at one point either. I’m sure the opening coin toss wasn’t as big a deal as it is now. The draft wasn’t even televised at one point. NOW, look what it’s become.

    As for the current players taking care of the old timers, you are really naive to think that the old timers are really taken care of. Mike Ditka is still leading the charge on that front. If the old timers are being taken care of, then why are they still fighting. If everything was good, we wouldn’t hear of this issue.

    Also, you say since the current players have said that the incoming rookies can attend the draft with no repercussions that there will be no trouble–if they said it, then it must be true. Well, the sky is green ya know. You are REALLY naive if you think no one will give any of these rookies who attend the draft any problems for doing so. All it takes is one vet to say something. And, even if the other vets come to the rookie’s defense, a firestorm will have been created. For the current players to even have to reiterate that it will be OK for them to attend shows that what they really want is for them NOT to attend.

  23. @bcgreg …

    The most loyalty I’ve ever felt with a team of workers was with a former client. We worked together 10 years with team members located in different states. Our editor was married in the office with the contractors participating via conference call. We’ve never met face to face.

    I’m sorry you can’t understand the concept of being loyal to your coworkers absent a union. I live in a right-to-work state, so I’ve never worked in a union shop. But I’ve often had extremely close camaraderie with my colleagues.

    The union has decertified. Regardless of that, when these men enter the NFL, they will share locker rooms, training rooms, hotel rooms, buses, planes, trenches, wins, and losses with the teammates who stand beside them. That is a powerful connection–much more powerful than your connection to the guy who hands you your check. Yes, I feel your first loyalty is to the guy who’ll have your back on the field and in the negotiating room.

    No one is trying to negotiate a rookie pay scale to undervalue these players. And I’m surprised you’re against a rookie pay scale; most fans favor it. Right now, those who go in the first 15-20 picks are significantly overpaid for men who have not yet contributed one down of play to their teams. That needs to be brought in line. But a point of contention is the length of the rookie contract. The owners are trying to trap incoming rookies into a fixed lower contract for four to six years–which would put them into their prime earning years. The player negotiators are fighting to see that while incoming salaries are kept reasonable, rookies are not penalized throughout their early career.

    So the veteran players are most certainly not trying to screw the rookies out of their deserved compensation. NOR are they going to hold against incoming rookies their decision to attend an event with the veterans’ blessing. You really have no idea what you’re ranting about.

  24. @ Deb

    I am FOR a rookie wage scale. Hey! My salary isn’t getting cut by millions. 🙂

    I’m simply looking at it from the top prospects’ point of view and not a fan’s. The vets are agreeing to a rookie wage scale therefore cutting the incoming rookies’ salaries. Deb, this means that the rookies won’t make as much as the rookies of previous years. This means that the incoming rookies are NOT making what they could have without the rookie scale. Never again will a top draft pick get $50 million guaranteed like Bradford. If I were a top pick, I’d be PISSED. Why would I care if these vets want me to stay away from the draft? So, I can be loyal to them? The people who took money out of my pockets?

    Believe me, I understand the reasoning behind the scale, but if I were a top prospect coming in right now as the scale is kicking in, I’d be rather ticked at my ‘brothers’ for taking my money away.

    As far as “trapping” players, you’ve got to think that if there is NO rookie scale, then the contracts should be longer. If there is a rookie scale, they should be shorter. Currently, no rookie can have a contract longer than 4 years UNLESS they are a 1st round pick. If a player is picked from picks 1-16, the contract cannot exceed 6 years. If a player is picked between picks 17-32, it cannot exceed 5 years. These are the rules under the recently expired CBA. D Smith is trying to get 3 years max on ALL rookie contracts if there is a rookie scale, but has said that he would go to 4 years max. Obviously, if the owners want to keep costs down with the rookie scale, then the players must be freed up after a shorter amount of time. The ones who have earned a big deal will get one. The ones who didn’t won’t.

    You problem is that you mention “deserved” compensation while I am simply talking about compensation. Of course, none of the rookies “deserve” these ridiculous figures. But, their initial earning power has been taken away from them, which goes back to my original question. Why would the top 10 picks care if the vets want them to stay away from the draft after those same vets slashed their pay? Never mind that the vets want the owners to take those rookie savings and PAY THE VETS the extra dough! AH, now I get it. Let’s take away the kid’s money and give it to me! Nice.

    As for your reiteration that the vets won’t hold it against them if they attend the draft because they said they wouldn’t, I’ll say again that the sky is green in your world. You really think that not one single solitary vet won’t hold it against them? To quote one vet, “Child, please!”

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