NFL Offseason Mailbag: Browns Draft, NFLPA & NFLCA Showdown and More

Aaron NaglerNFL National Lead WriterApril 19, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 09:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball against the Louisiana State University Tigers during the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 9, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Every week (at least every week there's interest), I'll be conducting a Q&A with you, the dear readers of The Go Route, covering all the latest goings on around the NFL. You can submit your questions to me either via email ( or via Twitter (@Aaron_Nagler).

Let's dive in, shall we? 


From Ryan Coon via Twitter:

Do you see the Browns passing up Richardson for Blackmon or is that a smokescreen? As a Rams fan, I hope they do!

Ah, April. When the draft questions come fast and furious. 

First of all, lets get something clear—I am in no way, shape or form a "draft expert", nor am I a connoisseur of the college game. I do immerse myself in draft study this time of year and try to learn as much as I can about as many prospects as I can, but really, I don't care much about a football player until he's taken a snap in the NFL.

With that said, I do talk to folks who are real-life draft experts. Between what they've told me and my own study, I think everything coming out of Cleveland right now is a smokescreen. I tend to think the Browns will take Trent Richardson with their first pick and a receiver with their second, though its not always as easy as that. 


From Steve Weber via Twitter

What is the NFLPA to gain from suing NFLCA?

Good question, Steve. For those of you who aren't familiar with this story, the NFL Players Association is suing the NFL Coaches Association in D.C. Superior Court for about $650,000. 

The complaint says the players union "has provided office space, staff, administrative services and financial support to the NFLCA" for more than 10 years, and has "advanced more than $650,324.88 in funds to the NFLCA."

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 09:  National Football League Players' Association (NFLPA) executive director DeMaurice Smith talks with the media following meetings at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service building for extended labor negotiations March 9
Rob Carr/Getty Images

In addition to the money is the tension between the NFLPA's executive director, DeMaurice Smith, and the new head of the NFLCA, David Cornwell, whose position the NFLPA challenges in the complaint. Cornwell and Smith have a history of bad blood, and this will obviously only make it worse.

As for what the union gains from suing them? It's really their only real avenue to retrieve the money they say is owed to them. The problem is that the NFLCA claims that former NFLPA head Gene Upshaw allowed them office space and all the rest free of charge when the NFLPA offices housed the NFLCA (the coaches union recently left, putting this suit into motion.)

As well as retrieving the money, Smith clearly doesn't want Cornwell, someone who he's had a contentious relationship with for years, acting as head of an organization he will be forced to work closely with in the future. 


From Carl Misuriello via Twitter

Which of these 2 games on Packer schedule is their toughest opponent, home opener vs Niners, OR road game vs Giants?

Those are two tough games, no doubt about it. But if forced to chose between the two, I'd have to say the Niners game. I know the Giants waxed the Packers in the playoffs, but I think they are much more evenly matched than that game showed. Also, there is some familiarity there due to the fact that Mike McCarthy and Tom Coughlin have now squared off quite a few times.

KANSAS CITY, MO - DECEMBER 26:  Receiver Randy Moss #84 of the Tennessee Titans watches from the sidelines during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on December 26, 2010 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Ima
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 49ers under Jim Harbaugh, on the other hand, will be pretty unfamiliar territory for McCarthy's Packers and they'll be facing them right out of the gate in Week 1, when crazy stuff always seems to happen around the league.

The real draw here is, of course, the Packers offense vs. the Niners defense, but I can't discount Randy Moss making some kind of difference here—he has almost always given the Packers problems in Lambeau. Yes, he didn't play that well the last time he was there with the Vikings, but he is a true wild card this year.

A motivated Randy is a dangerous Randy, and everyone has counted him out after sitting out last year. If he has anything left in the tank, he'd love nothing more than to make a statement in Lambeau on opening weekend.