The NFL has confirmed that 25 prospects will be in attendance at the NFL Draft Thursday night in New York, which is somewhat surprising considering that the league and its players are embroiled in a venomous labor war.
Up to 25 future players will shake Roger Goodell’s hand and smile on draft day, which has to make many current players cringe.
On the bright side, not all of these future millionaires are letting the NFL cover their expenses, according to NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora:
The NFL lockout has cast a shadow over seemingly all relations between the league and draft prospects, as well as their agents, with roughly 10 of the record 25 players confirmed to attend the NFL draft at Radio City Music Hall choosing not to accept the airfare and hotel accommodations extended by the NFL, according to numerous sources with knowledge of the situation.
Those same players are highly unlikely to attend any league-sanctioned events at the draft this week beyond the draft itself, with many bypassing the media and community-outreach events the NFL is conducting in New York during draft week, sources report.
This says, “I’m going to come because I refuse to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I’m not happy about what’s going on here and I want you to know it.”
La Canfora adds that agents are apparently advising their clients not to accept anything from the league. No swag, no free flights, no fancy hotel rooms. Nothing.