Will 2011 be the NFL's final draft?
by, 04-28-2011 at 08:54 PM (2497 Views)
Ok, so that statement seems to be ridiculous, but bear with me. While the players association is using the draft as leverage, no one believes that the draft will actually go by the wayside once the new CBA is in place.
However, what if the NFL calls the players' bluff? The days of the draft are over, and incoming eligible first year players are thrown into the free agent pool, for all to have a shot. The market becomes saturated with talent at each of the positions, overpriced veterans are now more likely to lose their jobs to rookies. With no draft slotting in place, the top players will still get theirs, but salaries would likely go down across the board since the owners are holding a defacto auction for their services.
And is it possible that this scenario could be better for the league? Again, you'll need to bear with me, but why not? Now ESPN and NFLN get the rights to the new draft format involving ALL Free Agents. It will be held auction-style. Team 1 nominates a player, and the bidding war begins. Could you imagine an NFL-wide bidding war over Tom Brady? Let's say Philip Rivers and Big Ben hit the open market together, and the Chargers put in a bid for Big Ben? How does Rivers react if the Chargers end up "settling" for him?
The fact is, this scenario has played out every year across the country in fantasy football leagues. Many leagues still use the draft, but those that have switched to auction realize what an archaic form of player acquisition that truly is. And while some players will end up garnering more money as a result, in the end, there are always bargains, and I'd imagine that in the NFL's case, avg. salaries league-wide would decrease, making it a potentially lucrative play by the NFL.
I know this scenario will never happen, but sometimes it's just fun to imagine what if.