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The Draft Won’t Cease to Exist… I Think

According to Mike Florio of “Pro Football Talk,” the NFL has told teams to trade future draft picks “at [their] own risk.” What’s that mean? Simply put, the anti-trust lawsuit brought on by the NFLPA could threaten the NFL draft. The claim here would be that because rookies can’t sign with whomever they want, it is a form of monopoly. I’m here to be reasonable, and let’s be honest, the draft will continue to stick around for years to come. If not, I’ll do your laundry for a month.

The NFLPA and the NFL have been shooting shots across the divide at each other for some time. It still boggles my mind to think that we saw this lockout coming a year and a half ago, and they still couldn’t work out a deal. Frankly, it’s quite annoying. As illogical as the two sides seem, there’s no way that they risk everything that they’ve built over the past few decades over the split of some 9 billion dollars. With that much money on the table, I think there’s enough to go around.

Also, the UFL may be making a bid to be a legitimate challenger to the NFL. Let’s assume there’s a doomsday scenario, and the NFL doesn’t play football in 2011. Those big networks like Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS, and ESPN no longer have to pay the money for those TV contracts for that year. Why wouldn’t they want to add the UFL? The UFL would be cheap, and I’m sure there would be a lot of NFL players that would sign with those teams because many have said that they just want to play football.

To that end, the UFL is already attracting former NFL coaches. In fact, Chris Mortensen of ESPN is reporting that former Chargers head coach, Marty Schottenheimer, will be the head coach of the new expansion UFL team, the Virginia Destroyers. Clearly the UFL does have some appeal to NFL guys, and if the NFL and NFLPA remain in a stalemate, the UFL could appeal to fans because they would have players that are better than college players, NFL quality coaches, and more reasonable tickets. Of course, I don’t think this will happen, but if D. Smith and R. Goodell don’t get it together it could.

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