The NFL has been at odds with the NFLPA for quite sometime now. It wasn’t until this year that there was something done about it. After three weeks of mediation failed to provide a settlement, the players were locked out. This will cause many problems for the upcoming NFL and college draft. Current players are upset with the way the NFL is handling the situation and will not be involved in any of the pre-draft outings. In addition, the NFL has now lost access to current players for on-site interviews. The NFLPA is not going to befriend the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell anytime soon either.
The NFLPA requested that draft prospects not participate in the pre-draft functions. This is a time when prospects are flown to New York, all expenses paid, before the draft. Who wants to get on the bad side of future teammates? The expectations are that current players and other protesters will be in New York to protest the lockout. This does not help the NFL. Causing a huge scene will make the commissioner and entire league look bad. Fans will become weary of the NFL and their motives.
Top college prospects are now caught in the middle. This is a time that should be an exciting moment in their lives and careers With the overshadowing of the lockout and possible protests, what will prospect players choose to do? Would it be wise of the NFL to cancel these pre-draft events to avoid bad press or is it inevitable? There are several possible ways the NFL could lessen the downside of their decisions.
1. Come to terms with the NFLPA
2. Cancel draft activities
3. Postpone the draft
In many interviews, Goodell has chosen not to comment or left everyone guessing. Granted the NFL doesn’t want to project a bad image of the commissioner, but doesn’t he have something to say about this impasse? It will be interesting to see how this situation progresses. What do you think the NFL could do to generate positive coverage?