SBD/February 25, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Briefs GMs, Coaches On Contact With Players During Lockout

Del Rio says NFL briefed coaches on certain rules during lockout
NFL GMs and coaches were briefed Thursday night in Indianapolis on how they could contact current NFL players and draft prospects if the NFL locks out players after the NFL CBA expires March 4, sources said. The NFL routinely holds a meeting of coaches and general managers in Indianapolis during NFL Combine week, but this meeting drew much more interest from the press than usual because of the NFL labor negotiations. Sources said GMs were briefed on contact with NFL players and NFL agents and given generally more leeway to deal with players who are expected to be drafted in April, if there is a lockout. National sports media, as well as the Indianapolis press, camped out at the GM and coaches meeting held at the Westin Hotel Thursday night, and most coaches and GMs left the meeting declining comment. But Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio did address the press and acknowledged that the one-hour meeting addressed the contact NFL personnel could have with players and prospects. Del Rio said the briefing included "a review of where we are and where we hope to get something done and in case it doesn't, some of the scenarios that could play out." Asked if coaches and GMs were provided with an update of CBA negotiations, Del Rio, said "No" before adding, "Only that they continue to talk." Asked if they were briefed on ground rules for contact with players going forward, Del Rio acknowledged there was "a little bit of an informational exchange" on that topic, but declined to discuss it further (Liz Mullen, SportsBusiness Journal). NFL Senior VP/PR Greg Aiello said, "It was a presentation on issues related to the possible expiration of the collective-bargaining agreement." On Long Island, Bob Glauber notes it "was the same presentation that was made to other club people in December in Fort Worth" (NEWSDAY, 2/25). NFL Network's Jason La Canfora called the meeting "a non-event for the most part" ("NFL Total Access," NFL Network, 2/24).
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