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Saturday: NFLPA ‘Smart’ to Avoid Draft-Night Conflict with NFL

Sean Leahy of USA Today reports Colts center Jeff Saturday, a member of the NFL Players Association executive committee, said Monday he thinks it was a “smart” decision for the NFLPA to back off its would-be draft-night conflict with the league.

The NFLPA announced on Monday that it would hold a three-day celebration welcoming new players to the NFL. But it will yield the actual hours of the draft to the NFL and will advise draft prospects to make their own decisions on whether to accept the NFL’s invitation to the event.

“I just think you kind of get into the point where it affects fans, and I don’t think anybody wants to do that,” Saturday told NFL Network as a guest analyst on Total Access.

“You leave it up to the player, let them make the decision on where they want to be on draft day, however they want to do that. I think it lends itself to being the best for everybody.”

“I think it’s a tough decision for them to make, whether do you go up and shake the commissioner’s hand being locked out, or do you skip it? And I think there’s a lot of pressure that will come from their agents, from their families and from a lot of different areas,” Saturday said.

“So I don’t feel like it will be an issue that veterans will necessarily go after those guys or give them any kind of hard time. Your rookie (year) is tough no matter what; you’re going to catch your share of flack. So I don’t think that will necessarily be the one issue they catch it about.”

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