NFL Denies Pressuring Incoming Rookie Class to Boycott NFLPA Pre-Draft Function

Rumors had been swirling that personnel from NFL teams across the league were advising draft prospects to boycott an upcoming NFL Players Association gathering. On Tuesday, the NFL did its best to squash those rumors.

NFL.com reported that "NFL spokesman Greg Aiello denied a report alleging that league employees are attempting to sabotage the NFL Players Association's planned draft event in New York."

"The bottom line is that the league is not trying to discourage players from attending NFLPA events," Aiello said in response to the accusation. "If someone has specific information to the contrary, we would be interested in knowing about it."

The league was responding to a report from CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman who reported that agents were telling him that officials from across the league were advising draft prospects to boycott an NFLPA-sanctioned event preceding the draft. According to Freeman, assistant coaches, scouts and other team personnel were among those discouraging draftees from attending NFLPA events. One of those events is a dinner held by the NFLPA prior to the draft on April 28.

Freeman also hinted that the agents he spoke with were particularly upset with the actions of Gil Brandt, who works for the league and helps invite rookies to the draft. According to the CBS report, Brandt spoke to several players and told them that if they attended the NFLPA events, they would not be allowed to attend the draft.

Aiello said that Brandt denied ever having those types of conversations with players.

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