Warning: What you are about to read contains an unusual amount of pessimism from a Homer.
I love the Kansas City Chiefs; I love the NFL; and I usually love the NFL Draft. I cannot remember a time when I did not watch the Draft in its entirety. However, that will most likely change this year.
Don’t get me wrong, I will probably catch a few minutes of it, but other than that I am really apathetic about the draft because of the lockout. I hope the Kansas City Chiefs get some great players when our time comes to turn in those cards, but if the NFL lockout costs us mini-camps and training camps, those NFL rookies will essentially be useless. Since the NFL lockout looks like it will be heading into mid to late August, then those poor rookies won’t see much practice time let alone playing time.
Where did I come up with the mid-August time frame?
More after the jump…
I got it from former NFL player Ross Tucker who writes for CNNSI.com. Basically, during an interview with Mike Florio of PFT, he indicates that this whole lockout process will continue until about mid August simply because the veterans would love to be able to skip mini-camps, training camps, and even portions of the preseason. He stresses that NFL paychecks for veterans do not even begin until the season starts in September. As such, the veterans are not under any financial pressure because in any given year they don’t start receiving checks until September anyway.
It makes sense doesn’t it?
Ross Tucker further states “You do realize, Mike (Florio), that’s the dream. To skip training camp, to skip two-a-days and just go right to the season . . . there are a lot of guys that are very much looking forward to the possibility.”
Could it be that all the negotiations in mediations and the labor talks over the last couple of months have all been a sham? Do the players really want to get a deal done before mid-August? Probably not.
Simply put: a good rule of thumb in negotiations is that holding out for more usually always garner you more later down the line. If holding out for more allows you two skip two-a-days in camp and still gets you more dough, what veteran player would not want the lockout? It benefits the veterans 100%, and it only hurts the fans and the rookies (drafted or street free agents) who will have a very rough season ahead of them, even if they make the team.
How does this hurt the Kansas City Chiefs? It hurts the Chiefs in two ways:
First, the Chiefs are an improving team. Improving teams need the time and reps to continue to do so. The current lockout only helps teams like Green Bay, the Steelers, The Patriots, etc., who have had the same veteran players, coaches and schemes for the last couple of years.
Second, the Chiefs need to get younger on Offense. My prediction for this draft is that the Chiefs will go (should go) heavy on offense because our average age on the offensive side of the ball is over 30 and the average age on defense is about 26 years old. We have to get younger on the offensive side of the ball through the draft. Generally speaking offensive players have to have many more plays and need many more reps to be successful, without those reps and practice our offensive rookies will definitely suffer. This would be very detrimental to an improving team like the Chiefs.
I have every confidence that there will be football this year, but I truly believe the lockout will continue until and through mini-camps and training camps because the incentive is there for the veterans to hold out for that long. As a result, our new rookies will most likely suffer and there is a high probability that their rookie year would be wasted. As such, (I am sorry to say because I do not want to be a downer again), the NFL draft just does not have me that excited this year.