Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the National Football League Players Association. . .which, in case you've been under a rock for the past few weeks, is no longer actually even a union. . .is putting together a plan to keep some of the NFL Draft's top prospect from attending the event at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
The NFLPA already has contacted 17 top prospects that ordinarily would have received an invitation to attend the draft and informed them not to go.
Thus, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the name of the first player selected, the player will not walk on to the stage at Radio City Music Hall as has been the custom. And the player will not be there to do interviews with ESPN or NFL Network. The draft will go on, but not in the manner in which it has been conducted before.
"As of right now, this is 100 percent happening," said one source familiar with the Players Association's thinking. "This is going down."
Seriously? Come on, now. . .this is just dumb. First of all, if there was still a players union, these young men wouldn't be members of it until after they were officially drafted.
But, really, what's the point of depriving these guys something that they've dreamed about their entire lives? You don't think that when Patrick Peterson or Blaine Gabbert or Marcell Dareus hears their name called that they don't want to put that baseball cap on, walk across the stage, shake the commissioner's hand, and hold up that jersey with a number one on it? You're damn right they do. And they should be allowed to do so.
This is just more junk that pushes me more towards the side of the owners in this dispute. Yeah, to most of us, the first round of the draft is a big dog and pony show, but to these guys it's something bigger, and they shouldn't have that taken away because a bunch of grown men are throwing a collective hissy fit at their inability to work out a deal.