Goodell’s Combine Rule Will Ruin the NFL
The biggest story for tomorrow’s NFL Combine is who isn’t there–and rightfully so.
The problem begins with Joe Mixon. Mixon, a potential first round talent, will stay home because he punched a woman two and a half years ago. He’s the victim of Roger Goodell’s new policy, which excludes troubled prospects from attending the combine.
What Mixon did is criminal, but what Goodell’s doing is destructive too.
Bad people have a right to play football. I will say this until I die…unless, of course, the football dies first. That might be the case.
Dez Bryant, Marcus Peters, Janoris Jenkins, and now Mixon…troubled stars regularly slide because of red flags and riskier teams reap the talent. But not all troubled players are first round talents!
Just take a look at last year’s Eagles. Wendell Smallwood was charged with intimidating a witness in a murder trial. He was taken in the 5th round. Jalen Mills had a domestic violence incident and was drafted in the 7th round. Alex McCallister, who was unofficially kicked off of his college team, was drafted in the 7th as well. All of them worked out at the 2016 combine.
The opportunity for troubled players to go to the combine is everything. It’s a chance for prospects to make their case to any team that will listen.
Goodell has recklessly taken that chance away. Now prospects like what the Eagles drafted last year may never see the league in ’17.
Meanwhile, talent is getting harder and harder to find in the NFL. Stars like Calvin Johnson and Patrick Willis retired at age 30. Walter Thurmond turned a career year into community softball with free agency looming. The already short life of NFL players is shrinking and it gets worse. There’s no international development. Parents don’t let their kids play anymore. When the few talents you have a re retiring young and you deny the next talent you have, what’s left?
The fact is, the NFL needs these troubled players whether you like it or not. Get them back in the combine, Roger.