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Tuesday March 15, 2011 11:02 pm

Top NFL prospects not to show at the NFL Draft?




Posted by Dennis Velasco Categories: Athletes, Drafts, Editorial, News, NFL,

Roger Goodell and Sam Bradford at 2010 NFL DraftIt's being reported that the top NFL prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft are being told by the NFLPA (yeah, sure, they're decertified and not working as a group anymore) to not show up at next month's draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York. The union is suggesting that the draft prospects partake in another activity that it seems would be run by the union and would give a similar experience that being at the NFL Draft would give. Understand that in the battle between the owners and players, I consider the owners more in the wrong, but is the NFLPA serious?

Every NFL fan understands there is a war going on between the owners and the players right now and who knows when it will be settled, but to suggest to bright-eyed NFL prospects who have never played a down of NFL football to not show up at one of the biggest events in sports (drawing 45 million viewers in 2010) is ludicrous. Yes, these potential NFL draftees will eventually join the union, but they're not there now and the NFLPA should not dictate or even suggest anything to these players. It's an obivious explotative move by the union.

The top players in the NFL such as Peyton Manning had their time in the sun and were fortunate enough to walk across the stage, hold up the jersey of the team that just drafted them, and smile for the inordinate amount of cameras flashing before their eyes. It really is a once in a lifetime experience and obviously a huge deal. And the union wants to take that away from a kid that most likely dreamed about being drafted, making all the people in their lives feel proud, and appearing before a nationally-televised audience? Simply selfish and on the level of the NFL owners during this collective bargaining agreement deadlock.

In the end, this absence from the NFL Draft will only hurt the NFL draft prospect as the memories won't be the same as those by the very same players asking this new batch of 2011 NFL Draft prospects to sit out. It will be tainted because eventually it will be realized that the union was using these potential draftees as pawns. Right now, it's all a game of chess and these draft prospects are the poor saps in front used to protect all of the royalty and what not behind them. Just say no.

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