Blog Entry

Combine boycott unlikely, but 'momentum growing'?

Posted on: February 13, 2011 7:43 pm
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Posted by Will Brinson

The idea that the NFLPA could generate a boycott of the NFL Combine is pretty far out there. An entire group of incoming NFL "freshmen" would have to get on board with stonewalling their future employers at a time when they are all seeking to get paid for the first (or in the case of Marvin Austin, second) time in their professional careers.

But Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports reports that on the heels of some increasing tension and low-ball offers from the NFL, "momentum for some type of protest is growing" within the ranks of the players.

That hypothetical protest, which would need the approval of all agents representing players at the Combine, didn't draw a response from the NFLPA.

"Our conversations with contract advisers [agents] are confidential," NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said.

And if it seems pretty unlikely that every single agent repping a player at the Combine could get on the same page, well, it is. However, consider that the NFL is (reportedly) offering the NFLPA a setup for a rookie wage scale that severely hampers the amount of money that NFL players will make.

Agents, of course, make their livings based on a percent of those NFL players' revenues -- if the salaries of all future NFL players are severely reduced, the salaries of all agents will also be severely reduced. So, there's absolutely some motivation present to incite the agents into convincing their clients not to attend the combine.

Still, it's unlikely to go down -- Cole spoke with numerous "top agents" who point out that it's just too difficult to pull off.

"You're talking about players who have been training for two months and now, all of a sudden, they’re all not going to work out? That's not happening," the agent said. "To me, it would be great if they would do it. If all the agents would agree, I would do it. But I just can't see all the agents and players going along with it. Not at this point."

And besides, if the NFLPA really wants to take a lethal shot at the league's PR, they should just wait until the NFL Draft.

While the folks who run the NFL Network would be incredibly incensed at having a ton of no-shows for the Combine, the reaction from ESPN executives if the top talent bailed on its three-day, high-profile event in late April would be even better. Not to mention a prime example of the serious problems the league could face from its top revenue sources (its broadcast partners) if a lockout continued into the season.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:45 am
 

Combine boycott unlikely, but 'momentum growing'?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:44 am
 

Combine boycott unlikely, but 'momentum growing'?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 10, 2012 3:42 am
 

Combine boycott unlikely, but 'momentum growing'?

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 8, 2011 9:59 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2011 6:14 pm
 

Combine boycott unlikely, but 'momentum growing'?

You can bet Cam isn't going Combine and it would be great if no one else risked their future showing off in Indianapolis.  

Well I think Newton may not go largely because he does not want to show off any weaknesses right now, he'll go high enough in the draft as it is while he works privately with coaches and releases on taped workouts to the teams (so he can edit out everything but the best plays).  For many other players, however, skipping the combine is what would "risk their futures".  A good performance at the combine can significantly increase your draft rank and thus the value of that first contract while I cannot remember a single instance of a player sustaining a career ending injury at a combine (it may have happened, but I dont remember it) -- of course a bad performance at the combine can also hurt your draft status so there is that risk too.




Since: Sep 10, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2011 12:57 pm
 

Combine boycott unlikely, but 'momentum growing'?

Does anyone else see that this will hurt the players AND their agents in the long run?

Not performing in the combine will hurt their draft placement. This will have a direct effect on their placement, and their potential earnings on their first contract. Is the NFLPA that ignorant not to understand this?

The NFLPA is going about this whole business wrong - they should be trying to get the general public on their side, not to alienate them. Putting it to the "man" is a good thing - screwing the general public is not, and screwing over your future employees is even worse.

The more the NFLPA and players cut down the fans, the more will take the side of the owners. Face it, rookie contracts are well over whet they should be making - they make the most out of any other sport, and are untested. I do not see the reasoning behind their inability to see this is hurting the sport, and their own union members.

Screwing over the NFL network is another dumb idea, considering it makes money that the players get part of. They start screwing with the tv rights and their paychecks will get hit with a huge decrease...what are they going to do next, start refusing sales of shirts with their names on them?

The NFLPA better start looking at the stark reality of the situation. The people that support their salaries are going through pay cuts, unemployment, etc - and they are looking to make more money - and this is besides the fact they are making the most of every sport?



Since: Dec 24, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2011 12:10 am
 

Combine boycott unlikely, but 'momentum growing'?

...it seems pretty unlikely that every single agent repping a player at the Combine could get on the same page, well, it is. However, consider that the NFL is (reportedly) offering the NFLPA a setup for a rookie wage scale that severely hampers the amount of money that NFL players will make.

Agents, of course, make their livings based on a percent of those NFL players' revenues -- if the salaries of all future NFL players are severely reduced, the salaries of all agents will also be severely reduced. So, there's absolutely some motivation present to incite the agents into convincing their clients not to attend the combine.

Still, it's unlikely to go down -- Cole spoke with numerous "top agents" who point out that it's just too difficult to pull off.

"You're talking about players who have been training for two months and now, all of a sudden, they’re all not going to work out? That's not happening," the agent said. "To me, it would be great if they would do it. If all the agents would agree, I would do it. But I just can't see all the agents and players going along with it. Not at this point."
How about picket signs and songs?    "Look for the Union label..."  Cam Newton already in as much said he isn't going.  He has been paying Mr. Whitfield (the same guy that trained Ben Roethlisberger while "his sleeziness" was on suspension) to get him in shape here in San Diego so their is no reason to show the middle finger to the owners until he gets paid.  You can bet Cam isn't going Combine and it would be great if no one else risked their future showing off in Indianapolis.  


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