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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:03:54 AM(UTC)
Inside a war room during the NFL Draft
A true trust The Board moment came in the drafting of Aaron Rodgers.
In 2005, we had approximately 20 players rated above the first-round line. When we arrived at our pick, at No. 24, the only name left above that line was Rodgers, who played the same position as one of the most durable players in NFL history: Brett Favre. (I always had a hard time signing a backup quarterback, as they wanted to have at least the possibility of playing.)
As we stared at Rodgers’ name, there were murmurs in the room from those concerned with the short-term, realizing we may well use our first-round pick on a player who would probably not get in a game that year (or perhaps the next, or even the year after that … or possibly never in a Packers uniform).
Here are three amusing anecdotes from the chaos of signing undrafted free agents.
• Once I talked directly to a player—he did not have an agent—and agreed to terms. Later I noticed his name on the list of signed players for two other teams, as well as ours. I called the player, who politely said, “Oh, I thought I could sign with all of you and then pick one.” I told him he had to pick a team. (He went to the Cardinals and lasted a week.)
• In the 2003 post-draft chaos, one of our scouts yelled out, “Anyone want to sign this quarterback Romo? He’s from Wisconsin.” Crickets.
• And my favorite story: I once told a player we would sign him for a $500 bonus. His answer was, and I quote: “Well, I only have about $100 now, but I can get you the rest in about a week.” “No,” I answered, “We pay you.”
Enjoy draft weekend, and hope your team trusts The Board.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 10:44:29 AM(UTC)
I love the last story too. The kid thought he had to pay for the team to sign him. It is amazing how sheltered these kids can be. It is easy to see how agents, family, "friends" and all the rest of them can convince a college athlete that they know what is best for him.
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