NFL Prospects Threatening to Boycott Combine
Per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, up to 155 of the 324 total prospects that received invites to this year's combine are prepared to formally boycott the event, citing concerns over the NFL's strict mandates related to COVID-19.
In a statement issued by the NFL to each of the prospects set to attend this year's event, the league outlined its plan for a "bubble" format, similar to that of the 2020 NBA Playoffs. Players who plan to attend the event, per the issued statement from the NFL, would be subject to remaining in a confined bubble and would not be allowed to visit with their trainers, doctors, nutritionists, etc.
A group of agents who represent over half of the participants have reportedly pushed back against the league, threatening to hold the players out of interviews and drills, only participating in medical evaluations, per a report from ESPN.
On February 20th, the NFLPA released its statement aimed at prospects attending the combine, urging young athletes to reconsider participating at all in what the organization called an "antiquated" system.
Just a year after the NFL was forced to cancel the combine outright, the yearly event seems to be in hot water once again. With no word from the league or its representatives yet regarding the situation, there is much that is still left to be decided.
As of now, discussions are ongoing between the league and agents representing these prospects, but the future of the event remains in the air.
The 2022 NFL Combine is scheduled to take place March 1-7 in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, but whether or not many of the participants will be there will have to be seen. The Alabama Crimson Tide is set to have eleven attendees, but, again, whether or not they will participate remains unknown.