According to USA Today's Sean Leahy, the trade association formerly known as the NFL Players Association will not hold a draft party on April 28, the same day as the NFL Draft, in an attempt to keep players from attending the draft, like they originally intended.
Instead, the NFLPA will hold a three-day draft celebration that "compliments the timing of the NFL's own festivities."
The move allows top prospects invited by the league to the draft to avoid having to choose between the NFL (which has locked-out the fraternity of players they are joining) and the NFLPA. The now-decertified former union had discussed the possibility of holding an event where fellow NFL players would greet drafted players.
Instead, prospects will be able to choose on their own if they want to accept the NFL's invitation to the draft at Radio City Music Hall, where they will be greeted by commissioner Roger Goodell on stage after their selection.
On the 28th, the NFLPA will hold a draft party from 4-7 p.m. and then the draft will start a half hour later at 7 p.m.. Some possible high draft picks has said that they want to shake NFL Commissioner's hand when they walk up on stage after their name is called during the draft. While the NFLPA has scheduled their party around the draft to allow players to attend both functions, NFLPA director DeMaurice Smith wants future players to know that they may be shaking the hand of the man that won't allow them to play because of the lockout.
"We never tell folks to boycott the draft," Smith told ProFootballTalk Live on March 21. "But at the same time it's important for our young men to recognize early on what the business of football is."