NFLPA Planning Draft Boycott

15 Mar

An offseason turned upside down will continue to get odder.

The NFL Players Association is putting into place a plan that would prevent each top college prospect from attending next month’s draft in New York, according to multiple league sources. The NFLPA already has contacted 17 top prospects who ordinarily would have received an invitation to attend the draft and informed them not to go.

Later Monday, a source said the edict is a recommendation, not an explicit order not to attend the draft. The source said the union plans to give the prospects the “same experience down the street.”

If the draftees do not attend, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the name of the first player selected, the player will not walk onto 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,” one source familiar with the NFL Players Association’s thinking said earlier Monday. “This is going down.”

The NFLPA even has gone so far as to consider placing the players on another competing network to do post-pick interviews, though no final decisions have been made. Another source said that, in this day and age, it’s possible that the top prospects also could appear on a social media network platform, only.
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