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A draft with no players?

Posted by Darren Urban on March 14, 2011 – 4:09 pm

No, I don’t mean there won’t be players picked.

The news came out today that the NFL Players Association has told potential draftees not to go to New York and to not take part in NFL draft festivities. It’s not like it came out of the blue — suggestions floated around as far back as February — but the NFLPA isn’t commenting on the report, which is based on “multiple league sources.” We’ve all watched the draft telecasts where players show up to Radio City Music Hall and go on stage for pictures with their new team’s jersey after being picked (the Cards’ Dan Williams — pictured below — did just that last year). It would make for an odd show without those moments, and without guys waiting backstage to hear their name called.

The idea is already being criticized here and there, and an ESPN poll shows a pretty heavy lean from fans against the plan — just about 3-to-1. There is a long time until the draft and certainly, nothing figures to be in stone right now. But at a time when both sides are watching the public relations battle carefully, you wonder if such an idea (if indeed it is an idea being considered) holds up.


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Posted in Blog | 51 Comments »


51 Responses to “A draft with no players?”

  1. By Terell Graves on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    get cam newton on ur team

  2. By Chris on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    I would be shocked if the draftees actually followed through with this. They would miss out on that joyous feeling of standing up there and being picked in front of their colleagues and their families. Such a shame if it were to happen.

  3. By #1CardinalFan on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    NoT gOnNa HaPpEn

  4. By Jeff on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Both sides are screwing the fans over. I used to favor the players, but after everyone spilled the beans on what supposedly went on in mediation i dont know who to believe. Seems to me neither side cares too much either way about us fans

  5. By NJAzCardsFan on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    I actually think the fans should use the draft as a way to show BOTH sides their displeasure of the Labor Negotiations and boycott the draft.

  6. By Phoenixraven1 on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    If you were a draftee you’d be dumb as hell to follow through. First off someone will show and get his day, they won’t be able to convince everyone. Secondly, your tossing your one chance at the draft experience!

  7. By Papi1960R on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Thats great. Guys who had their moment on the draft stage, the culmination of years of hard work, are telling other guys you can’t have that. The NFLPA was decertified Friday. By federal law they have to stop operating as a union. This is violation of federal law and just plain dirty pool. A smart and savy youngman would tell the non-union to go pack sand, and to keep their hands off his paycheck also.
    I see alot of college football in my future. Another union trying to destroy the industry that employs them. The players could make their own league, but are not smart enough. The Players are the greedy bastards.

  8. By Dynasty on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    I have to back the owners on this one. Like any other business, high risk can yield high rewards. If the owners take all of the business risk, then they should be able to dictate what they pay their players, what kind of revenue split they share with them, etc. If the players don’t like it, they don’t have to play in the NFL. There are many other players who would love the chance to play in the NFL. What would some of your bosses say to you if you demanded more pay, a portion of the profits, greater health benefits, etc., or you would no longer work? Most would probably tell you to hit the door. Why should the NFL be any different?

  9. By Cards Fan for 43 Years on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    A really bad idea by the NFLPA. They want to deprive the new draft class the experience of going to the draft. Not that the NFLPA would be affected by this. They already had their chance to do it.

  10. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Well, I doubt Von Miller will be there as he is a plantiff in the suit against the NFL owners – and he isn’t even employed one of them yet. Wonder how the Bidwill’s look upon Von’s decision? I should have thought of that question last week for the Q&A session.

  11. By B on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    I support the players.They do everything.Owners are SHAAAADY!The BidwElls are just football ignorant lol.

  12. By OLdude on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Jeff – I totally agree with you. The platitudes that you have heard and will hear are just that…platitudes to appease the schmucks who are the ones that make this whole thing go but have no real pull. IF there were a FANS UNION which could actually form a significant boycott of games and paraphernalia …THEN these 9 BILLION DOLLAR BABIES (regards Alice) who can’t figure out how to share it equitably would be singing a different song ! Hey Darren wanna coordinate this union for us??!!

  13. By Pheenic Cromartie on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    I hope the players don’t listen. They’re not even NFL players yet. Why should they listen? I’ve been leaning towards the players throughout all of this, but this is ridiculous.

    The Draftees will miss out on the feeling that every other drafted NFL player has felt if they follow through with this. For their own interests, I hope no one goes through with this.

  14. By harlanlee on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Please don’t get me wrong. I thoroughly love the ESPN/NFL Channel coverage of the draft, from the first choice all the way until “Mr. Irrelevant” is chosen. But it is very probable that a toned down version of the draft, minus most of the hoopla, would proceed much more efficiently. Of course, the Talking Heads will still be able to tell us every last detail about every draftee, and Mel will still be able to scroll his “best available” across the screen — incessantly. But things just might move along a lot more smoothly with no live athletes on the scene. And they just might consider moving the whole thing into a much smaller area and do away with all those rude fans from New York who get their 1.5 seconds of fame on camera all through the draft. Just a thought.

  15. By Andre on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Jeff – Nobody “spilled the beans”. The owners wanted to use it to get negative fan reactions towards the players. The owners rep came out and made it seem personal. I still favor the players. The owners are the ones I’m questioning. The players have a salary cap….so why do fans pay so much in ticket prices, concession stands, etc.? Because the owners are greedy and afraid to show the ridiculous amount of profit they make. I’ll guarantee you if the owners were really losing money, they’d open their books. Plain and simple. The fans are being hammered by the owners. Don’t get me wrong, they need to make a profit…but by how much? 5 percent? 10 percent? 15 percent?

  16. By Chris B on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    To me, it sounds like the Owners actually caved on every issue: 16 game season, gave more days off, less off-season work, etc. Rookie wage scale needed to happen and having those funds reallocated towards current/retired players was good. The only issue it appears the NFLPA actually was unhappy about was the refusing to open the books. So what’s the real issue? Players want more of the pie? The owners make more money than the employees… in every business… ever. So why should the NFL be different?

  17. By joe on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    The players do everything? S o the fund the stadiums pay for the advertising employ the stadium workers manage the franchise, deal with the public officials in the city, take a hit in a bad economy? The players should start there own league if it is so easy the billionaire owners are billionaires before they own a football team. Players are lucky to be making millions playing football for a few months out of the year if they can’t manage there money properly enough to have some left over when they retire who’s fault is that.

  18. By D on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    They are saying D. Smith floated this out a few weeks ago, showing how his plan all along was to send this to the courts. It appeared on the last day that only the owners were willing to do a deal, I think if the players made the first mistake a few years ago by going with an attorney, D. Smith and not Troy Vincent-a deal probably would have been completed- I guess if no deal is done by the draft, we all can stop talking about trading picks for a Vet QB on another team right now….

  19. By Joe-B on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    The only good thing about this would be not having to see the ESPN and NFLN cameras showing the kids talking on the phone before they get drafted and spoiling everything for those of us who like to be surprised by who gets picked.

  20. By brad oneill on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    any union that wants to ruin the biggest day in your professional life in order to send a message to your future employer probably is not looking out for your best interests.

  21. By Ken on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Here’s a video of TE Stephen Skelton at Fordham Pro Day taking some catches from older brother John Skelton. Cardinals tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens was there as reported by ESPN.

  22. By Rick on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    So let me get this straight…Coaches and NFL organizations cannot talk to players during this lockout but the NFLPA (can we even say they are the NFLPA since they have decertified) can talk to potential draftees about not taking part in NFL draft festivities. Talk about your double standards. More and more I’m siding with the owners. Way to go NFLPA, you’re looking about as mature as a bunch of 1st graders.

  23. By Phoenixraven1 on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    I’m not saying they aren’t corrupt! I’m saying that this is capitalism and the players as employees have to watch themselves. If my employees came to me and asked me to open my books I’d tell them where to put it!

    They get paid god awful money to play a game. It’s a very fine line here to really piss fans off!!! Ask MLB and NBA and NHL…

  24. By nor cal cards fan on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Urb- Is that true about Von Miller being a part of the lawsuit? Could that affect his draft status?

  25. By AndyStandsUp on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Well with the NFL Network and the NFL expanding the draft over 3 days, they’re going to have to do something to keep interest.
    A few suggestions:
    1.) Use boxing ring card girls to hold up player’s uniforms when announced.
    2.) Charlie Sheen as Mel Kiper’s personal draft assistant. Every pick would be a “winning” choice.
    3.) Have Cam Newton, during commercial breaks, hawking brand new “used” laptops. (Only available in Auburn, Gainesville and Brenham, Texas.)
    4.) Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith will open the show singing and dancing to Toy Story 3’s ‘We Belong Together’.
    5.) Steve Nash as the medical reporter for players. “That player has a condition similar to mine, pelvis instability.”
    Charlie Sheen- “Hey that’s my line! Winning!”

  26. By Jerry on Mar 14, 2011 | Reply

    Its like the government and the gas prices, the gov dont care what we spend on gas, they have a gas card that they use at the pump supplied by their agency while we are stuck paying the price

  27. By Ken cadena on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    I think the players are just as selfish as the owners. There are people dying and starving all over the world, and all we can think about is making an extra buck. The milions of billions are not enough. All i can say is this year was not all that entertaining, and they dont make players with guts anymore just a bunch big mouths, and wannabes HOF. The NFL stinks of greed and SH-T

  28. By Richard on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    If the NFLPA isn’t a union any more, how can it instruct potential members not to attend the draft – isn’t that acting as a union in a trade dispute?

    My initial sympathies were with the players, but I now don’t know what to believe. Perhaps I’m on the outside looking in, but it seems like most of the issues were addressed in the owners’ final offer – unless, as the NFLPA believe, it was all a sham.

    Perhaps someone can enlighten me how, without a union, a deal will be agreed with the players?

  29. By K-DUB on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Why would they listen? They’re not even part of the league yet. I’d go to the draft, you’re not gonna rob me of my dream and fantasy of walking to center stage holding my team jersey especially if it has a #1 on it.

  30. By Jeff Gollin on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Talk about a “circular firing squad!”

    What I’m hearing is that – while the League (i.e. the owners) want to be “partners” with the players when it comes to sharing the revenue, they don’t want to share the actual numbers that would form the basis for any equitable split.

    The perception by “us fans” is that “various team owners have stuff to hide” – both from the public and from each other.

    If I were a Justice Dept. prosecutor, I’d be licking my chops.

  31. By Bill L on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s see…..they are Not members of the Union…….there is No Union to be a member of…..they will not be missed much, just more film and analysis…….the Only ones who really care are Themselves and Their family……..so if they stay away they Lose, not Fans, not the NFL, not the Union………real Dumb Losers, IMO.

  32. By Magee on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t care what draftees do. I was watching the game when players left their hotels on game day dressed in blue jeans, sweaters and leather coats. I saw the day they started going to the game in suits and carrying a brief case. Business is business and both sides are in it for the most they can get. They will get it worked out and as always, ticket prices will go up. Something that needs additional attention is taking care of the players who get hurt and are laid up forever.

  33. By Mike Ellingboe on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    First they cry for, then get, a proposal for a rookie salary cap. Then they turn that down. Now they want the 2011 draft class to skip arguably the biggest day of their lives?

    Go play in the UFL or the CFL if you dislike the NFL so damn much, but quit putting your b.s. on the next generation.

  34. By Darren Urban on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Nor Cal —

    RE: Miller/lawsuit

    Miller is a part of the lawsuit against the NFL. I don’t think it will affect his draft status, but I suppose you never know.

  35. By SteveDCO on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    The NFLPA would loose all PR credibility they had, which isn’t muych if they make this happen.

    This will be a life changing experience for these players that will change their families for generations.

    For the NFLPA to try and take this away from this kids is abusured. Jay Feeley should be ashamed to be the player rep for such a petty orginization.

    The owners need to make tell the players to take the offer or they are going to play with scabs in 2011.

    I was in New Orleans during the last strike and Greg Forcade was loved in the city and Bobby Hebert was loathed to the point they had to keep Forcade on the team when the strike ended.

    Fans will love the new players just the same in time and not ruin the best sport in the land.

    Shame on the NFLPA!

  36. By cards62 on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Lawyers and Unions
    They had their place in our countries history long ago, but for the past few decades all they do is make America worthless and weak.

    Do most of us care if the players are there? No we just want to know who our team picks and see a lot of highlights on the players and comments on what the analysts think so for me I prefer not having the players there.

    Earlier Cardinal fans comments nailed the subject. This is really for the players benefits coming out of college to have a good time in NYC with their families and to have a special moment to celebrate their hard work over the years. Now their peer group who enjoyed these treats in years past are telling them no you can not or it will hurt the Union. Please child check them all for concussions.
    Go Cards Steve

  37. By Wampag on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Stand up join our group

    NFL and NFLPA need to realize we represent their profit and we aren’t happy with their greed especially in this current economy

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_161646790557833&ref=notif&notif_t=group_activity

    spread the word

  38. By Mackie on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    I actually think this is an expected move by the players. The draft is another medium in which the NFL gains revenue for selling the rights to broadcast draft coverage. Whether it’s a good move by the players trade association is something to be debated.. but if I was one of the rookie invited I would probably heed to the directions of not going.

    People arguing that they aren’t part of the union (or whats left of it) also need to understand that these guys coming out of college will be part of the players union when it’s all said and done. How would current players look upon those that showed up at the draft?

    This whole thing is a mess and I am on the players side. I find it appalling how little time was spent trying to work out a deal until the final weeks leading up to the end of the year. Hopefully this mess is cleaned up before the end of April and this will be a non issue. This labor disagreement isn’t going to destroy the sport unless it continues into the summer and camps are missed.. or even worse games.

  39. By jasonchico on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    They’ve already priced me out of being a fan. If it’s not on TV I can’t watch it anyway.

  40. By Chuck 1 on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Poor NFLPA (which doesn’t exist anymore!!!) players.
    They don’t make a decent living anymore.
    PLEASE give them a bigger slice of the pie.

  41. By Jeff on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Andre- I know that probably everything that came out of the owners mouth was a lie, thats why i said “supposedly”. but i find myself not trusting the players union much either anymore. You can’t tell who is telling the truth and frankly I don’t really care because all I want is a new CBA. Probably the only thing i care to have in this new cba is that rookie wage scale, put the money other places for veterans who have proven themselves, retired players, or even to lower prices for the fans.

  42. By former AZ.resident on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    Why would the owner have to show their books, maybe because the players can go with the team that makes the most money and leave their current team that might make less, like the NBA where the team with biggest market get multiple superstars and make the game cheap like the MIAMI HEAT and other NBA teams.

  43. By Gang6230 on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    This is a sad situation. The lack of trust and relationship has stopped the whole game
    The love of money is a root of all evil

  44. By tyman on Mar 15, 2011 | Reply

    No players really isnt a huge deal. How many do they invite anyways, like 6. The biggest seller during the draft is the commentators along with the college highlight tapes, and every single fan booing the pats pick. Im sure it will remain as good as ever. No worries.

  45. By Andre on Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

    Poor NFL owners
    They don’t make enough profit anymore.
    PLEASE accept their terms so they can make more money.

  46. By carlo7000 on Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

    ken
    thanks for the video..he could be one of our 2 sixth round pick

  47. By Jeff Gollin on Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

    Back in the day, I used to attend every draft, The League held it on weekdays (& – working in NYC – I’d sneak over there for a 3 or 4 hour extended lunch hour & then after work). It wasn’t til later that they made it a weekend event.

    It was similar to the way it is now – except much simpler and less “fan-friendly.” The way it worked back then was that the draft would be held in the ballroom of one or another NYC hotel. There would be a bunch of team tables (identified by helmet-phones) occupying most of the floor space in the ballroom with a rostrum for the Commish up front. Spectators were treated with suspicion and – before balcony-seating existed – occupied seats in the back of the room.

    The team FO’s would phone in their picks, trades etc. to a representative (usually a “friend of the team: manning the phones at the table. The selection would be made, a runner would take the piece of paper to the podium and the Commish (or Gene Washington) would announce it.

    No fancy network crawls. No highlights clips. I don’t even remember seeing a board listing the draft choices already made.

    It was just us draft geeks and a bunch of beat writers and national media folks writing stuff in notebooks stuffed with draft-info.

    It was fun.

    To this day, I seldom watch the highlight reels of the players as they get drafted. I just stick my nose in my desktop or laptop PC and take it from there.

    It sounds like that’s what we may go back to (if the NFLPA implied threats are true .

    So be it. I like it.

  48. By Scott H on Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

    It’s a shame that the players and owners have let it come to this. But since they have, then THEY should be the ones to suffer. Neither side has any right to ask anyone to sacrifice to support THEIR cause. College players dream about being picked by an NFL team and being in the spotlight on draft day. They dream about coming up to that podium and holding up that jersey and putting the hat on, etc,etc,etc. They get to do that ONCE in their lives. And they should give that up for a mess that they had nothing to do with? Absolutely not. Fans enjoy watching the draft for the same reasons. Again, why should we have that taken away from us???

  49. By Scott H on Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

    Dear NFL owners,
    I am not on your side.

    Dear NFL Players,
    I am not on your side, either.

    I am on MY side, which is to say that I am on the side of the fans. The GAME is what we love, and the GAME is what we care about. And right now, the GAME is what we are in danger of losing because you people cannot be reasonable enough to come to an agreement over how to share billions of dollars. Have any of you ben paying attention to the rest of the world for the past few years??? Heard about problems with the economy??? Heard about people losing their homes and not being able to find jobs??? Well, in case ya missed it, that is the world that WE have been living in. So, pardon us if we have just a little trouble feeling sympathy for people whose biggest “problem” is coming to an agrement on how to share billions of dollars. We should all be so lucky as to have your “problems”….

  50. By brad oneill on Mar 16, 2011 | Reply

    you know if we cut out the agents it would be like removing a huge tax on the players.

    Lets put in place a new collective bargaining agreement where all the players are paid equally.

    yes this would hurt tom brady, larry fitzgerald and albert haynsworth but it would make life amazing for the other 1500 nfl players.

    so 90% of the players would make a ton more. 5 percent of the players would make quite a bit less but still be wealthy 5% would be in the same spot they were. the nfl could quit babying qbs since they wouldnt be quite so expensive.

    one other thing. The revenue for the nfl has climbed exponentially in the last 20 years through tv contracts but they still increase ticket prices. I understand they like to get as much as they possibly can but in cities where they aren’t selling out you would think they would drop the prices down to a level where even borderline fans would buy in. and seat licenses are a freaking crime in my opinion. If the cardinals ever do that I really will walk away from the game on principle.

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