The NFL gradually is figuring out that no benefit is derived from having the Man Who Runs Big Shield absorbing relentless booing at the draft.
After using Ron Jaworski on Friday night in a failed effort to get the fans to go easy on Roger Goodell, the Commissioner was out of sight when the third day of the draft began. Instead, former Eagles standout (and current NFL executive V.P. of football operations) Troy Vincent led the way, with a pair of locally beloved Brians at his side: Westbrook and Dawkins.
That’s not how it happened last year in Chicago, when Goodell found out that the zeal for booing him had not subsided by Saturday. What we saw and heard this Saturday is how it should have been from the outset. The unforgettable scene from Thursday night in Philly would have been enhanced by having, for example, Sylvester Stallone get things started. Instead, the loud boos took away from it.
The biggest question for the 2017 draft is whether Goodell’s bosses will take away his podium privileges, permanently. Surely he realizes by now that it doesn’t help him, it doesn’t help the league, and it doesn’t help the draft for the Commissioner to continue to be the face of the event.