NFL should, but never will, have a draft lottery

AP

The NFL can’t reconcile the importance of convincing everyone that every team always plays to win with the reality that, for non-playoff teams in December, it pays handsomely to not win. So the NFL doesn’t try to.

Taking it one step farther, the NFL refuses to even consider something that would become a major offseason tentpole for the league, gathering millions of TV viewers and potentially becoming another traveling roadshow that would bring thousands of fans into the streets of one of the cities that is in play for the top pick. The only logical explanation for the league’s flat-out failure not only to entertain the possibility but to steadfastly ignore that it even exists underscores the league’s position on tanking: Act like the temptation doesn’t exist, even when it clearly does.

An NBA-style lottery would be weighted, with the worst teams getting more balls in the machine. By embracing that contest, the league would be sending the message that it’s good to be bad. Which would undermine the “you play to win the game” vibe that the league feels compelled to infuse throughout the full regular-season schedule, especially after Thanksgiving, when the 20 non-playoff teams become increasingly clear — and when ownership’s urge to bench the starters for undrafted rookies becomes increasingly strong.

But there’s a way to do a lottery that both creates another offseason phenomenon while eradicating the phenomenon of tanking. The bottom 12 spots in the first round would be determined by playoff exits and regular-season records, culminating in the Super Bowl teams at No. 31 and 32. The top 20 spots, reserved for the non-playoff teams, would determined by a straight lottery: One ball per team, 20 balls.

Why should the worst of the non-playoff teams get a bigger reward than the best of them? The NFL has become the ultimate haves (playoffs) and have-nots (no playoffs) pass/fail proposition, and the have-nots should all get the same chance to have the first pick. This necessarily would kill the tanking temptation, because an aspiration to pick first could be tied only to an aspiration to not make the playoffs. And every team and fan base always wants to make the playoffs. (If there’s any doubt, watch or listen to any of the shows aimed at convinced every fan base that their team has a chance to make the playoffs this year.)

Consider the concept as it relates to 2019. Plenty of Dolphins fans (and possibly the fan who signs the checks) would prefer to see the team take its lumps this year, with the reward being the best quarterback ever coached by the guy who used to coach the Dolphins. A lottery that makes the chances of getting the first overall pick equal for all non-playoff teams would scuttle that chatter, with the sole goal always being to make it to the postseason, and with the consolation prize being three months or so of hope and wonder that maybe this is the year that the ping-pong gods will smile on a forsaken franchise.

The league loves hope, generally. It abhors hope when the hope is tied to the incentive to lose, especially in this new age of legalized gambling. In one fell swoop, the league could end that temptation forever, while also creating an event that would join the Scouting Combine, free agency, and the draft as the major moneymaking and ratings-generating events of the offseason.

98 responses to “NFL should, but never will, have a draft lottery

  1. A lottery is still a game of chance and it hasn’t stopped other sports teams from tanking. Case on point the Philadelphia Sixers and “the process” which ended up with the teams owners having to get rid of its GM Sam Hinkie or risk losing the franchise.

  2. Sports with lotteries still tank unless it is as extreme as your way to have all non-playoff teams with random picks. That would stop tanking, but also leaves everything down to luck. Is it really worse to see a team that’s horrible get one good player? Or is it worse to see a team that just missed the playoffs get gifted the top player in the draft by pure luck?

  3. Probably the funniest thing I’ve witnessed in a few months. They made it into to some kind of spectacle with the production, talking heads commenting while the reps listened, all of the players there for some odd reason…it’s the lottery not actual draft hahaha. They touted their new format and swore Zion was going to be a Knick. Then it all went to heck and that dude’s handlers escorted him out like he was the Prez hahahaha. The utter shock and embarrassment by the league was very entertaining.

  4. Make the NFL more like the NBA? Didn’t the NFL schedule release on ESPN draw more viewers than an NBA playoff game a couple of years back?

  5. But mainly why losing teams who can’t make the playoffs will rest up starters is not so as to tank but to protect them from injury and because it offers a risk-free chance to test out other guys on the field ahead of deciding who to keep/hire for next year. To most teams that’s more valuable than picking say 6th instead of 16th – unless they need a QB (even then, Rodgers wasn’t a top 20, Brees was 2nd round, Wilson 3rd round, and we all know Brady was 199th).

  6. Tanking is basically legal cheating. The tanking teams are cheating teams who are trying to win but may have similar talent levels. Tanking (losing intentionally) does a great disservice to the fans that are paying nfl ticket prices to attend the games. Also it allows for teams that are mismanaged to be continually rewarded year after year –see history of Cleveland Browns. A fair and simple draft lottery would be to weight the teams 1 thru 32 with the worst team getting 32 chances to determine their draft position and the team with the best record getting only 1 chance. This gives every fan base more excitement for their nfl team.

  7. Would be great IF IT LIMITS a team to only one top 3 pick every three years. Stop rewarding poorly run franchises that are consistently terrible year after year after year.

  8. It’s a great idea, it would bring more attention to the process, and more attention is more $$

  9. The lottery is not a good response to tanking. The best non-playoff team should get the first pick, the second best should get the second and so on. That’ll eliminate tanking quick in any sport.

  10. Is there tanking in the NFL yes there is and you’re right in 2015 the bucs purposely tanked but it didn’t help them if every team that drafted in the top five went to the playoffs the next year or the next two years that would be different so see some teams are Bad because of there GM & HC & OWNER

  11. The way the NFL manages its business is near perfect already. You don’t usually fix something that works perfectly. The NFL draft, the way it is, probably gets better TV rating than the World Series and NBA Finals. No teams purposely lose to get a better draft pick. That notion is pure fantasy. Any GM that would be bad enough to tank, would probably be the GM that would end up drafting RGIII over Andrew Luck. Also, the NFL isn’t anything like the NBA where one player can make a huge difference. The great NFL teams are the ones that draft good players in the middle and late rounds. Tom Brady was a 6th round pick and Joe Montana was the last pick in the 3rd round. Winning in the NFL is a result of good personnel management, not where you pick in the draft.

  12. The draft works just fine the way it is. If there was a lottery, Goodell would just manipulate it the same way the NBA does. In the NFL, there has only been one clear case of tanking and that was during the blatantly obvious, “Suck for Luck” campaign where t-shirts were even printed. Leave the game alone! There have already been enough dumb rule changes like illegal contact, kickoffs, and the current changes to the OT rules.

  13. Since football contracts are mostly not guaranteed, players on teams with losing records are playing for next year and their place on a roster. This mostly ensures that players give their best! …except if your team is “sucking for Luck”!

  14. The best way for all leagues to approach draft placement, and make every game competitive is the following: (I’ve seen something similar elsewhere so can’t take full credit)
    Picks 21-32 remain the same, based on record and elimination from playoffs. The remaining 20 teams will get a lottery ball for every win they get once eliminated from postseason contention. So if you were eliminated by week 12, and win out, you receive 5 lottery balls. Eliminated last week of the season, 1 ball.
    This way every team some theoretically try to win each week, because then should try to make the playoffs and once eliminated, gives them the best shot to pick higher.
    This also makes it more fair for teams that are truly devoid of talent. If they are trying to win and are still first eliminated, then they get the most chances to win balls even though they’ve proven winning is hard for them (hence the early elimination. Ranks teams based truly on their talent and performance level for the entire season.

  15. A draft lottery in the NFL is a terrible idea. You keep bringing up “tanking”, yet I’ve failed to see you provide even a single example of it.

  16. The reason the NBA lottery is necessary is because of how small the teams are. One player can tun the whole team from worst to first. That will never happen in the NFL. One top college player will NEVER completely change a bad NFL team to contenders on his own. There has to be talent around him, and there are 52 other guys on the roster – if a 2-14 team didn’t spend hard on free agents in March, the #1 pick in April won’t get the job done.

  17. I don’t think teams sit starters just to tank. I think it is more of an evaluation of their second and third string players. Take in example of this “What if”. What if Drew Bledsoe never got hurt and Tom Brady never got the nod as starting QB? I mean, he was a 5th round draft pick that was not valued very high. Typically those are your “Career Backups”. Tom would never become “The GOAT”.
    Unless…. The Pats stunk it up one year and Coach B decided to rest Drew and see what Tom had in him, and he shined.
    You know what your starters can do. You really cannot see your backups in action until they are in the fire.

  18. The first thing they would have to do is find a way to test the air pressure of every ping-pong ball and whoever picks the ball couldn’t wear sleeves.
    The idea makes as much sense as throwing a pass with a yard to go while Marshawn is in your backfield. Idiotic – at best!

  19. “Suck For Luck” in like 2011 or thereabouts is one of the worst tank jobs I’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget the look on Curtis Painter’s face every time he’d come off the field after a stalled drive or a turnover. Kid had no business out there, just completely in over his head. I remember it being like Week 6 and thinking “they’re SERIOUSLY not even going to TRY to find a better QB this year???” Like at least make it look like you’re trying to win games.

  20. No. Just no.

    I don’t believe teams tank. Not in the NFL. Other sports, yes (which btw includes the NBA, which has a draft lottery). On a team of 53 people, no one draft pick, which could be a bust, is going to change your fortunes. Name one team – just one team that changed their fortunes with an early pick. You’d have to “tank” for years to collect enough bodies to make that happen.

    The December thing btw is no different than a team that has clinched resting their starters. Cheats the fans out of what they pay to see.

    If you want to stop tanking, prove it then fine them or take a way a draft pick. But you have to prove outside of fan banter. Some teams really are just that bad you know.

  21. Browns fan checking in. The Browns tanked on accident from 1999-2017 and then on purpose for 2 years. To my knowledge, the Colts are the only other team in my lifetime to be awful just to get draft picks. And guess what, the league is more interesting now that the Browns have Baker Mayfield and the Colts have Andrew Luck. It’s more interesting now that the Cards have Kyler Murray and the Dolphins will draft Tua at #1 next year.

    The only way for the bad teams to get good is to land that franchise QB who will knock off the perennial playoff 12.

  22. The NBA started a draft lottery to stop teams from tanking but many still do. When they had their first lottery, one of the envelopes was thrown in the drum, causing an edge to be bent. David Stern watched closely as the drum was being spun then took a deep breath while he reached in and grabbed the envelope with the bent edge and the New York Knicks won the first pick.

  23. The lottery is a bigger joke. All it does is reward better teams and penalize bad ones tank or not. You heard it here 1st. This is the way all league should do it. After each week of the season teams are ranked. 1 through lets say 32. The last place team gets 32 points 1st place team gets 1. Every week teams add to their point totals. At the end of the year the teams that did not make the playoffs are ranked and the team with them most points get 1st pick. This removes the advantage of “tanking” especially late in the season. so the truly terrible teams that stunk all year get higher picks. Not some decent team that tanks late and then wins the lottery.

  24. It is unfair to compare the current Dolphins as tanking. They are doing exactly what a mediocre team should do. They got rid of overpaid veterans, accumulated draft picks and cleared house of the GM and Coaching staff. Unfortunately, they play a tough schedule in a division that requires a Wildcard at best for Playoffs. They have a weak roster and were not in a position to bolster it with average talent Free Agents.

    If they come out and throw games like the Colts did; I would be the first to admit it. However, they will most likely try and suck and win about 5-6 games. Tua might not be the answer anyway. The best scenario would be Dolphins have a Top Pick and Rosen develops and they Trade that pick for a boatload of 1’s and 2’s. That is how to rebuild. If Rosen works out… he cost the Dolphins less for 3 years than a quarter of what a Top 3 pick QB would cost in a Rookie Contract. Having 12 Picks and over $120M is not tanking for 2020. It is just plain smart. Finally!!

  25. An unweighted lottery would give every team incentive to try as hard as they could as there would be no incentive for losing – the best team in the lottery would have the same chance as the worst one.

  26. No, there should NOT be a draft Lottery. NFL Execs and coaches abhor the thought of tanking for a better pick.

    Keep it set up how it is now. It works perfectly.

  27. You know, the NFL just might be the sport for this. In other sports, the gap between garbage teams and mediocre ones is clear, and teams can be awful for many years. The disparity between teams based on just a couple of players (or lack thereof) is huge. But in the NFL, teams can and do swing in terms of performance, and many teams that end up with a bottom-10 record do so because the season just was unlucky with injuries or snowballed away.

    So there isn’t nearly the same gap between the very worst teams, the next tier, and so forth. Also, and this is super important, MAKING THE PLAYOFFS DOESN’T MEAN MUCH IN THE NBA, because many playoff teams have a 0@% chance of a championship. That is not true in the NFL – meaning that there is incentive for all NFL teams to try to do what they can to make the postseason, and missing out hurts a ton. Putting a lottery from there wouldn’t necessarily be “necessary”, but it would likely iron out the remaining incentive to lose more; the entire season becomes about working to get to the playoffs, and if you fail you at least get an equal shot at drafting high – but no guarantees that you will, keeping that from being an outright goal for a team.

  28. A lottery for a draft is a poor idea anyway. It does NOT stop teams from tanking, and only helps keep the bad teams bad. The NFL pushes the idea of parity, and that nearly any team can make a resurgence. You have a few teams that stay good year after year, and a few that stink for quite a while. The teams at the far ends of the spectrum are there because they are either very well run or very poorly run. Those things won’t change until there are major changes in those teams. But, for 20+ teams in the NFL, landing a top pick at the right position can vault them from also ran to playoff team. The NFL needs to keep the draft order as it is, with the only possible change being to look at the “competitive balance” picks, when you see top teams like the Pats getting more extra picks than the teams that truly need the help.

  29. so you suggesting they take away the one thing that keep the NFL more interesting than other sports leagues…the ability to turn around a team in one or two years……..not the mention the evidence just dont back you up…sure there was suck for luck…that was the outlier……bad teams winning down the stretch…last year the worst 5 all won in december

  30. The NBA draft lottery is a joke. The way the NFL has it works just fine. The one thing the draft lottery does is actually punish a team for actually not being good. A team could have a lot of injuries, which causes them to lose a lot of games, does that mean they’re tanking ? No, it was a serious of bad luck. The niners lost Jimmy G to injury, but they could’ve won if they had him, then you would punish the niners by making them draft lower. That’s what a lottery would’ve done to the niners.

  31. Why punish the teams that made the playoffs? They fought for 16 games… they deserve equal opportunity to pick high in the 1st round as well. Can’t think of a better way to to force teams to try. Rounds 2-7 can be based on record

  32. No thanks. I’m not interested in seeing them fix the draft so the Cowboys get the #1 pick every year they don’t make the playoffs.

  33. NFL doesn’t need this and it is the typical solution without a problem and it is no surprise a lawyer came up with this. There has never been any tanking or any evidence of it. Th Suck for Luck was a media creation and everyone got fired.

  34. Sorry Mike, we don’t agree. The draft is the way it is to keep teams competitive. No one wants to see the same teams win and the same teams lose every year. There’s enough of that already, and this would make it much worse. It’s good to see different teams make the playoffs every year. I know personally if there’s a lottery to participate in something, like karoake or tickets to a show or game, I just won’t participate.

    Who even cares about tanking other than gamblers? And they deserve it frankly. Let the rookies play, let the worst teams have the best chance to get better, keep it competitive. Please stop trying to make everything about gambling.

  35. Terrible idea. The NBA unlike any other sport can see a franchises go from worst to 1st because of 1 player. There’s no other sports that 1 single person can make as big a difference as in basketball not even qb in football.

  36. When I think about tanking the question I have is, “What are you teaching your players?”. Answer: That it’s ok to lose on purpose. Are nfl fanbases good with this? I tend to think not. To lose 16 games on purpose in the hope that you will get the number one pick exposes as fanbase to a season of humiliation. When you think about “The Process”, you have to admit it has been a failure. To tank for the better part of 5 years and you only have 2 starting caliber players to show for it, maybe? The rest of their squad is made up of free agents they could have acquired without tanking. Sad.

  37. Is there really a problem with tanking in the NFL? Only one time that I can think of that it was a problem. Indy sucking for Luck. Where has that got them so far? They would have done much better thus far keeping Peyton and loading up around him.

    If teams tank intentionally to get a pick, there is too much risk in the NFL Draft to make it a sure thing that it will help the team.

    There’s nothing to fix in the NFL. Leave it as is.

  38. Not only no, Heck No!!!

    I have two examples for you why not. The Cleveland Browns and the Charlotte Hornets.

    In football, once the browns got real leadership, this team is looking up and ‘earned’ there draft spots when they were bad. If there was a lottery, they could have been undercut.
    In basketball the Hornets never go anywhere because they never get a fair shake in the draft (and questionable leadership).

    I hate all draft lotteries in sports. If my team tanks, that is just an opportunity in the future to be more competitive. In the NBA it is even worse. There are only a handful of superstar players available. This year pick 4 on is a massive drop in talent. You can get good NFL players through he first three to four rounds.

    I am not a browns fan, but I am a Hornets fan. I would trade a tank year for 3 playoff years rather then the mediocrity I get every year. Tanking is winning sometimes.

  39. In the NBA, one superstar pick (Zion Williamson) might (but is not a sure thing) be enough to turn around a franchise. One superstar, like LeBron James can transform an average team into a strong one.

    Unlike the NBA, tanking for 1 player (A QB) isn’t a guarantee of success. Look at the #1 drafted QBS were weren’t top 5/10 QBs.
    JaMarkus Russel
    Matt Stafford
    Sam Bradford
    David Carr
    Tim Couch
    Vinnie testaverde
    Jameis Winson

    Teams may stink because they have injuries, players age, they don’t draft well.
    Adding a QB gives them a chnace to recover but is no guarantee.
    You still need to build around the QB.

    Leaving it up to luck means a bad team may spend many years at below .500.

    Leave the draft alone.

  40. The issue would be attendance for teams that stink and then ger a lousy lottery. Unless you were to do that only for round 1.

  41. Have there been a lot of complaints about teams tanking? Have there been a lot of complaints about the draft? What’s the purpose of changing a system that is working great other than to try to make a little more money in the short term? The thing that keeps people interested in the NFL is that a team can be bad one year and good the next. A lottery will guarantee that bad teams stay bad.

    As a fan of an NBA team that has been in the lottery probably 25 times in their history and has not once moved up to a spot higher than where their record says they should be, I can tell you that a lottery is a terrible way to keep parity in a league.

  42. devilsmetsgiants says:
    May 15, 2019 at 7:38 am

    The lottery is not a good response to tanking. The best non-playoff team should get the first pick, the second best should get the second and so on. That’ll eliminate tanking quick in any sport.
    _____________

    Really? Would you rather your team be the last team into the playoffs and lose in the first round or have the first pick in the draft? There would still be tanking but it would be tanking to stay out of the playoffs.

    Actually, I think my Vikings thought that was the system that was in place last year, given the way they played in their win-and-in Week 17 game.

  43. campcouch says:
    May 15, 2019 at 6:52 am
    Probably the funniest thing I’ve witnessed in a few months. Then it all went to heck and that dude’s handlers escorted him out like he was the Prez hahahaha. The utter shock and embarrassment by the league was very entertaining.
    __________________________________________________________________________________

    You know the actual lottery occurred behind closed doors 1 hour before the televised portion, so any shock and embarrassment you saw was acting.

  44. Tanking only works if you can GUARANTEE that the guy you get at #1 (or even just at YOUR #1) will turn the franchise around. That rarely happens. Teams with bad leadership make bad picks, meaning that “tanking” is pointless.

  45. No they should absolutely not have an NFL draft lottery what a horrid idea.

    And can you imagine the outcry if the Pats won the SB and then got a top 3 draft pick out of the lottery? Or top 10? I can only imagine the clickbait that would give the media.

    Or any Super Bowl winner for that matter?

    Terrible idea.

  46. officialgame says:May 15, 2019 at 6:50 am

    A lottery is still a game of chance and it hasn’t stopped other sports teams from tanking. Case on point the Philadelphia Sixers and “the process” which ended up with the teams owners having to get rid of its GM Sam Hinkie or risk losing the franchise.

    ======================================================================================================

    I don’t understand why sports fans love to rag on Sam Hinkie. Phili was a playoff team with a roster populated by young, quality players, all of whom were directly the result of Hinkie tanking Phili for several seasons. Hinkie was just an easy target for the sports press and casual fans, because when he drafted, he took elite players with high ceilings, something you can’t do unless you’re in high lotto land. Of course those players didn’t produce immediately, so of it was injury, some of it was that they didn’t yet have the refined skills of vet NBA players. But that 76er roster was talented. Hinkie was the fall guy for impatient, bad ‘tude Phili fans. I hate tanking, but you need to do in the NBA if you ever want a shot at a championship.

    Which brings me up to a second point: In the NBA, the draft is much more important than in the NFL or MLB. While many top picks don’t work out, the very best players in the NBA are almost always one of the first players taken. Unlike the NFL, there are only five players for a team on the floor at any one time, not one of 22+ players who get rotated out on offense or defense. This makes that potential superstar that much more impactful. You need a lottery in the NBA because there is so much more incentive for teams to tank. The only exception I can think of is when someone like Andrew Luck becomes available, then a team like Indy will “Suck for Luck” and tank, all the while pretending not to.

    We’ll see that again for the Trevor Lawrence draft.

    I do get the need for a lotto in the NFL, but only for generating more money. Most of the time NFL teams tank due to ineptitude, the resultant picks rarely do much of anything to improve their fortunes.

  47. talonslair says:
    May 15, 2019 at 7:43 am
    Can you trust the NFL with behind closed doors for the lottery selection if they went that route?

    ———————————————————————–

    Enter Robert Kraft with a fat wallet. Wonder why the Pats always get the 1st pick in the lottery every year…hmmm

  48. I have an idea that might kill 2 birds w/ 1 stone. I say we replace the Pro Bowl with the 2 last place teams. Winner gets the #1 pick, loser gets #2. The game would then have real stakes and be the outcome determined by competition and not lottery style chance. What do you all think?

  49. A draft lottery for the NFL is a STUPID IDEA!
    It sucks in the NBA & in the NHL, as it screws over the fan bases of the teams expecting to get the top picks!

    It was a gimmick for the NBA in 1985 & they have tweaked it 5-6 times since.
    It’s a terrible idea for a league with only 16 games, where one key injury can destroy a team’s season!

    Tanking is NOT a problem in the NFL
    So if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it

  50. weepingjebus says:
    May 15, 2019 at 8:39 am
    Suck for Luck was a blatant tank job cheered on by Colts fans.
    ______
    So fans wore shirts and the coaches with their jobs on the line said “yeah, they’re right…. let’s get fired!”
    Moronic.

  51. The current NFL system DOES NOT DETER Tanking which is extremely unfortunate. Teams setting out to Tank should never ever be rewarded, But then again are we surprise that no changes to address this hasn’t taken place, since lets face it the NFL and baseball are the 2 entities that if you left them to have a say for instance in technology we still would have Black and White Televisions and when it comes to the internet….Well what in the world is that?.

  52. If you must do a lottery I think it would work better like this: Keep the normal way of doing things from round two through the end of the draft and do the lottery as explained in this article, meaning the only impact is round one. There would probably be some sort of impact involving the trade of future picks though.

  53. The NFL values parity. They like to say that on any given Sunday, any NFL team can beat any other. True enough, the team with the second worst record in the league last season beat the playoff bound Seattle Seahawks. In order to achieve parity, the worst teams should be allowed to get the best talent available in the draft. A lottery will make it more difficult to achieve parity. Bad teams may never be able to use the draft to improve themselves because of the lottery. The NBA came up with the idea of the lottery when they think some teams may be tanking to get the best player available. The Clippers traded away their leading scorer last season when they were in playoff contention, and some people think that they were tanking to get a better draft position, but they made the playoffs anyway, so the suspicion of tanking cannot be eliminated even if we have a lottery in the NFL.

  54. No. Not everything has to be a stunt.

    Besides, under this scenario, the alleged gamesmanship (if it exists) would just transfer from trying to get the worst record to avoiding the playoffs, if management does not think they have a championship contender on their hands.

  55. As someone who has no bone in this fight, I’m very surprised at how negatively this idea has been received. First we have to accept the idea that tanking exists. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. Secondly, it affects EVERYONE, not just the bad teams. You get to December and you have teams fighting for the playoffs. One team gets to play a “tanker”, another has to play a team that isn’t. That’s not fair

    That being said, I think this Lottery idea should be limited to maybe 8 teams. That’s the about the number of teams that would enter December knowing they aren’t going to get to the playoffs.

  56. I like hearing new ideas, but this idea has already proven that it does not deter tanking. You want to eliminate tanking? Then there has to be an actual punishment for teams that finish with the worst record. Let’s discuss what those penalties should be.

  57. “Enter Robert Kraft with a fat wallet. Wonder why the Pats always get the 1st pick in the lottery every year…hmmm”

    What Jerry Jones, the Maras, etc don’t have “fat wallets” too? Delusional

  58. patfanken says:
    May 15, 2019 at 11:26 am

    As someone who has no bone in this fight, I’m very surprised at how negatively this idea has been received. First we have to accept the idea that tanking exists. I don’t think anyone can disagree with that. Secondly, it affects EVERYONE, not just the bad teams. You get to December and you have teams fighting for the playoffs. One team gets to play a “tanker”, another has to play a team that isn’t. That’s not fair

    ***

    Well, 1) tanking may exist, but I personally don’t see it as a particularly serious issue (to be clear, I’m defining “tanking” as steps intentionally taken by management to lose games – if a team is demoralized and just wants the season to end, that is not “tanking” and a lottery system doesn’t address that; also, holding star players who are injured out for games at the end of the season to heal up for next season might be a closer call but arguably isn’t “tanking”); and 2) implementing a lottery goes contrary to the idea of creating parity within the league, so it’s not as if there aren’t drawbacks to a lottery-based system.

  59. No one “tanks” in the nfl. There maybe players who give up trying real hard but no one is directed to “tank”. I’ve see my lions “lose by winning “ far too many time late in the season when it actually would of benefitted for them to actually “tank”. It’s a myth.

  60. Bad idea. It doesn’t really work in the NBA. There is no guarantee the first several picks will be good anyway (see 2013 draft…the best pick Sheldon Richardson was early teens…Eric Fisher is okay, but Joeckle, Jordan and the others sucked!). And how many first pick QBs are any good? (And Luck is over-rated IMHO). So how does anyone know Tua will be good?

    And speaking of the Dolphins and tanking…you all do remember 2007…1-15…they pick Jake Long instead of Matt Ryan…he was good until he got injured in 2011, but how did that ultimately work out for them?

    And didn’t everyone pick Miami to be the worst team in 2018? I mean, does “the consensus” have a vendetta against the Dolphins or what? But keep it up, because someone has to take over from the Pats, and it might was well be “the most mediocre franchise the last 20 years”! They are now finally doing “the Patriot Way” (gutting under-performing overpriced players is a good start…you do realize they were in cap hell, don’t you? I think they finally might have good management for once!)

  61. As conspiracy theories go, I would prefer a league with tanking to a league with a rigged lottery.

  62. The NFL has it right. League balance is more important than teams “tanking”. If losing teams don’t have a chance to get better via the draft because of “balancing the odds” then you can’t market the league to advertisers. You are stuck with marketing winning teams at the expense of losing teams that have little or no hope of getting a franchise type player because of balancing. The Knicks were the worst team and should have gotten Zion which would have boosted the whole league not just New York, instead it went to the Pelicans who tied for the ninth worst record. Now NBA try to sell that to advertisers at the expense of having a drat lottery show that fans couldn’t keep up with because they only showed the result and did not include where they were slotted to go for visual comparison.

  63. It is my considerably uniformed opinion that team building and success has little to do with the draft order in the NFL. (Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round.)

    Bad Ownership hires Bad GMs who hire bad personal guys, who hire bad coaches. 10 seasons of top 10 draft positions won’t fix that.

    Just sayin’

  64. The NBA draft lottery is a joke. No one actually cares if a few bad teams lose 2-3 more games in an 82 game season. Why? Because they suck anyways.

    But guess what the new lottery does? It incentivizes more teams to lose a few more games since you don’t have to be rock bottom to have great odds.

    Now you just have to be one of the bottom 9 and you have a legitimate shot (9th place = 6%). So now there’s incentive for about 12-15 teams, aka everyone not in the playoffs to tank.

    Even shutting down LeBron James and a few others gave the Lakers a bit better odds and they managed to get the 4th pick. A team with LeBron James has the 4th pick.

    It’s a joke.

    Meanwhile, the bad teams have less of a shot to get the great players and suck for longer. Instead of a team that desperately needs Zion, you have a team that already has AD getting him. Three teams jumped up. Bad teams that should have had the top 3 got 3,5,6. This guarantees they will all suck again next year, since also unlike the NFL, there very few marquee players in any NBA draft.

    In the NFL, a top pick and a couple of bad years you can rebound into being at least decent, if not good, unless you are just horribly run. Plus there’s talent throughout the draft. In the NFL, a 3rd or 5th round pick could turn into a cornerstone. In the nba the 3rd to 5th OVERALL pick can easily end up a role player.

    There is no parity in the NBA, so teams suck year after year, and there is no point in even watching it. Then there are the superteams. In essence, in the NFL, any team is 1-2 years away from making a few good moves and competing for a playoff spot. In the NBA, teams can easily suck for a decade or more, and even if you make the playoffs, you have no shot unless you are a top 3-4 seed.

    The NBA is a joke.

    If the NFL wants to degrade their product like the NBA has, do what the NBA does.

    Plus who wants to hear all the ‘rigged’ stuff? I don’t.

  65. Horrible idea. The NBA draft lottery is now one of the reasons I will no longer watch the NBA.

  66. The draft lottery is a good idea, purists will hate it, but not as much as Miami fans will hate their tanking this year. I would not have a lottery for all non-playoff teams. I’d take the 5 worst and they are in a lottery to determine 1-5. The next 5 are in to determine 6-10 and so on. The last 2 teams are the ones that were in the Superbowl. This creates some interest but keeps the bad teams getting the best picks.

  67. The NFL doesnt need a lottery, because 1 NFL star doesnt change the team like 1 NBA player. One player in the NFL doesnt turn the worst team into a Championship team. Whereas a young lebron could turn the worst team(Cavs) into a team that goes to the finals year after year.

  68. If Goodell thinks he can make it a TV spectacle and cash in, he will do it. I can’t imagine he hasn’t already thought about it.

  69. With a draft lottery the NFL can send the top picks where they want to send them, like the NBA does. Is there any reader out there dumb enough to believe the NBA draft lottery is luck of the draw?

    In summary the NBA sucks and so does the draft lottery.

  70. I’d rather them the abolishment or divisions and conferences before a draft lottery. Stop letting the patriots coast against bills, phins, and jets every year for two decades. 16 different opponents on the schedule for every team each year. Gives fans a chance to see more of the league each year instead of their same old tired divisions. Playoffs seeded by record… no automatic berths from an arbitrary division. Just take the top 12 teams… and run it by record. also gives possibility of any two teams playing a against eachother in the super bowl.

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