Updated:None — Two prominent NFL agents have told Channel 2 sports director Zach Klein there have been serious discussions for the top players to boycott the annual draft and form their own "draft party event".
"The NFL, the NFL Network and ESPN are making a ton of money off the draft, and the players do not see a penny", said one agent who asked not to be identified. "Players are still going to New York but likely will not participate in the NFL's draft ceremonies and broadcast. "
Another agent said, "I know there has been conversations with television networks that do not currently hold NFL football rights."
A source at TNT seriously doubted it was his network, because in no way would they want to damage their relationship with the league or other professional entities they work with, such as Major League Baseball and the NBA.
Unable to decide how to divvy up $9 billion a year, the players decertified from the union, and the NFL locked the players out. It's the NFL's first work stoppage since 1987, and the two sides show no signs of backing down.
In a statement, the NFL ripped the union and their decision to decertify: "The union left a very good deal on the table. At a time when thousands of employees are fighting for their collective bargaining rights, this union has chosen to abandon collective bargaining in favor of a sham 'decertification' and antitrust litigation."
In 1989, The NFLPA also decertified. Antitrust lawsuits by players led to a new CBA in 1993 that included free agency, and the union formed again that year.
In an e-mail to WSB, NFL Senior Vice President of Public Relations Greg Aiello said, "We are just starting to make plans regarding player involvement in the draft. We plan to invite 15-20 top prospects as we did last year. That is all we can say at this point. As always, it is the invited player's decision as to whether or not he and his family attend"
On his Twitter account, @roddywhitetv, Falcons wide receiver Roddy White wrote, "I think incoming players should boycott the draft they gone be part of the NFLpa I wouldn't even put on the hat don't give them teams nothin."