The NFL Draft Is Really An Illegal Business Activity

The Draft gets its legal status thanks to NFL owners and players.

There are numerous non-football people who make a lot of money analyzing the National Football League draft who will never say these words. The National Football League draft is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and is only made legal through collective bargaining. The draft is illegal as it stops elite college football players from shopping around for the best job. The players are denied choices where they can work. They have just one place to go. If they decide not to report to the team that drafts them, those players can sit out, force a trade or play in Canada or a lesser spring league, the USFL or the XFL in 2023.

Here is how the draft becomes legal even though a third party, the incoming college players are hurt. NFL owners and the National Football League Players Association can collectively bargain conditions for the draft and if that means shutting down college football players job possibilities so be it. The cottage industry that makes a ton of money talking essentially about nothing, college players being drafted into the National Football League, needs to keep the pretense going and say nothing. The league claims it wants competitive football balance and having the worst football teams take the best players in a draft order that starts with the worst team picking first does that. But in reality, that isn’t the reason that the owners want the draft. By having a draft, the owners can suppress salaries and stop owners from bidding for the best college players. Football fans think the draft is one of the best football events going but what football fans are celebrating is a suppression of trade. NFL owners are very happy no one notices or cares that the draft is essentially illegal. The draft is a salary suppression tactic.

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FILE – In this April 29, 2021, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, wearing a COVID-19 vaccinated sticker, speaks during the first round of the NFL football draft in Cleveland. The NFL has informed teams they could potentially forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players and players on both teams wouldn’t get paid that week. Commissioner Goodell said Thursday, July 22, 2021, in a memo sent to clubs that was obtained by The Associated Press that the league doesn’t anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that can’t be rescheduled within the 18-week regular season. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)