The NFLPA and agents are considering withholding prospects fro the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine, the 2011 NFL Draft and other activities this spring as a way to flex what little muscle they have in the fight with NFL owners over the CBA.
I've been mostly sympathetic to the NFLPA's case throughout the CBA disaster, but this latest move could turn off lots of fans and play right into the owners' PR strategy of portraying the labor battle as a "millionaires vs. billionaires" struggle with both sides wearing a black hat.
Missing the Combine would be a huge loss to all but the most blue chip prospects, and even for them it wouldn't help. And based on Jason La Canfora's report it sounds like the idea of skipping the Combine isn't a popular one with player agents. What seems more likely is a boycott of the draft itself and other events.
Besides the impact on the players, this would be a big blow to fans. You and I both know that the draft and all the prognosticating that goes with it is something of its own season. Hell, it was the only thing that sustained fans of the St. Louis Rams for a few years now. Not only would it deny fans all the excitement that comes with draft season, it would be a big turn off to the public, cementing a very unfavorable view of the NFLPA.