For rookies, lockout doesn’t start until the press conference ends
Incoming rookies may have more than one lockout-related dilemma to resolve in April.
Though it widely has been assumed that the rookies enter the pool of locked-out players the moment after they are drafted, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells us that the players may be brought to their (eventual) cities of employment for a press conference.
It’s a common practice, with most if not all first-round picks and some later-round players flying to the cities in which they’ll be working for a media meet-and-greet. Given that the rookies are facing subtle-but-real pressure from the veterans and the NFLPA* to not attend the draft if invited, the next question becomes whether the rookies will participate in the introductory press conference at their teams’ facilities, which will end with the teams locking the doors to the facilities behind them.
Aiello was right in December. The NFL really is the ultimate reality show.