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Breaking down the rules regarding pre-draft rookie visits

NFL Draft Football

An NFL logo and stage is shown before the first round of the NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall, Thursday, April 22, 2010, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)


With the NFL teams not permitted to contact veteran players but permitted (for now) to contact incoming rookies, plenty of you have asked for more information about the rules that apply to meetings with rookies.

The rules are the same this year as they were in past years.

As NFL spokesman Randall Liu explained it via e-mail, each team may transport a maximum of 30 draft-eligible players to the team’s home city or another location for a one-day physical examination. These players cannot be timed and tested. Interviews and written tests may be conducted during the visit.

Liu said there is no limit on the number of prospects tested by a team on campus. Clubs also may time draft-eligible players, conduct on-field tests of draft-eligible players, and administer written tests to draft-eligible players in the metropolitan area of the player’s campus or hometown, at college postseason all-star game practice sessions, provided that the player is a participant in the all-star game, at a League-approved workout (Indianapolis Combine, NFL Regional Combines), and at the campus of any college located in the same state as the player’s college, provided that the player is attending a school in NCAA Division I-AA (Football Championship Subdivision), II, or III, an NAIA school, or a junior college, and further provided that the timing and testing only occurs on a school’s Pro Day, but only if the players have received permission from the hosting school’s Pro Liaison.

Players who attend college or reside in a club’s “metropolitan area” can be given a physical examination without counting against the 30-player limit, unless the club provides transportation for the visit. Also, a player who attends college or whose hometown is in a club’s “metropolitan area” may be timed and tested at the club’s facility, as long as the club does not provide transportation.

“Metropolitan area” is defined as contiguous suburbs. There isn’t a 25-mile, 50-mile, or any other type of mileage radius rule. The league office uses the 2011 Rand-McNally Road Atlas to determine the metropolitan area of a city.

So there you have it. Aren’t you glad you asked?

Actually, only a couple of you asked. We were just looking for filler during the lockout.