Perhaps the most intriguing storyline heading into the 2011 NFL Draft (besides which teams will take which players, of course) is which rookies will choose to attend the event at Radio City Music Hall. The rumors that the NFLPA was asking rookie not to attend proved to be disastrous to the union’s PR efforts. Still, the mere presence of those rumors has put pressure on the incoming players.
So far, two of those incoming players have said they will be walking up on stage and shaking Roger Goodell’s hand when their name is announced on April 28. Alabama wideout Julio Jones told Sirius Radio’s Adam Schein that he will attend, and that no one from the NFLPA ever asked him not to.
“We decided that we’d love to go there,” Jones said. “You know, it’s a one-in-a-lifetime chance.”
On Tuesday, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn accepted his invitation. Clayborn also plans to attend the NFLPA rookie debut ceremony (which will not be scheduled head to head with the draft).
"It's important that I'm going to be in the union," Clayborn told the Press-Citizen. "But those guys understand it's a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
More rookies are likely to follow. Perhaps even all rookies. The most interesting “attend or not attend” decision will be Von Miller’s. He’s the lone rookie named in the players’ lawsuit against the NFL.
UPDATE 3:55 p.m. EST: Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that 20 players have been invited to the draft, including Von Miller. La Canfora says several players in addition to Jones and Clayborn have RSVP'd.
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