In early to mid April, I tweeted @AdamSchefter and just basically asked if he would be willing to do an interview with me for the last issue of this semester for my college’s newspaper, The Carroll News.
Luckily, Mr. Schefter said yes and I was ecstatic to land the interview with him, as you could understand I’m sure. With the recent draft and lockout news, I had plenty of questions to ask Mr. Schefter
The following is the transcript of the five questions I asked Mr. Schefter an interview I conducted with Adam Schefter on May 2nd.
Considering my 19th birthday was May 3rd, this is about all a young sports writer can ask for as a birthday present, right?
5 Burning Questions with Adam Schefter
Zach Mentz: Recapping the NFL Draft from this past weekend, which teams do you think had the best drafts and why?
Adam Schefter: Well, I’ll tell you Zach, these things are very difficult to judge and you know it’s so simple to do that and so many times, people say “Oh the San Francisco 49ers did great with Alex Smith as the number one pick” and “the Green Bay Packers, they got a quarterback that’s not even going to help them in Aaron Rodgers” and they try to reflect on the draft now rather than looking at it in a few years.
So, it’s always very difficult, I think, to judge and grade drafts right after it’s over. We think of the big name players, you recognize guys like Adrian Clayborne and Da’Quan Bowers, but we have no idea whether or not some player from some small school is going to become a huge star for some team.
How do we know that Muhammad Wilkerson is not going to be a star for the New York Jets? That Kenrick Ellis is not going to be a star for the Jets? Maybe they will and maybe they won’t. So we’re just guessing basically on name recognition value.
Saying that, with that warning, knowing that we’ll have to wait a couple of years, I really like what the Broncos did, I like what the Cardinals did, I liked what the Buccaneers did, I liked what the Browns did, the Ravens, the Packers, the Steelers etc.
You can always count on the teams with the good front offices and good scouting to come through in these types of situations and they almost always do. Sometimes they have off years every now and then, but by in large, over time they’ll have more good years than bad years.
ZM: Late last week, there were reports that NFL free agency could begin as early as today (Monday 2nd). Can you briefly explain why free agency was barred from starting today?
AS: Basically the U.S. Circuit Court issued a temporary stay on Friday night during the second round of the draft that said the league lockout continues, that league business does not have to start right now.
A lot of people thought that that temporary stay would not be granted, it was granted, and now there are rumors again of a more permanent stay later this week. If they uphold the stay later this week, we will not have free agency until at least June or July, if then. If they basically block the stay, then they’ll take down the lockout and we’ll have free agency as early as this week.
So, again, it’s another big week in the court system. I think people don’t care, they just want to know is there going to be football or is there not going to be football and the answer right now is: we don’t know. Is there going to be off-season this week? We’re waiting to hear and we should have an answer ready at Thursday I’m told.
ZM: With the NFL currently in the middle of a lockout, do you think that the current state of the NFL played a role in Thursday night’s draft ratings that were lower than usual?
AS: Oh without a question. I mean, I think people are so annoyed by what’s going on between both sides and there’s a poor taste in people’s mouths. Now, hardcore football fans—they’re still tuning in, they still want to get every last bit of information on the draft and see how all the picks go.
I mean, that’s how I am, I still love it. But, I do think some people are thinking “You know what, there’s a lockout, there’s no football right now, they don’t care about us, we’re not going to care about them” and I think that’s directly related to the fact that the ratings dropped some, yes.
ZM: There have been players that have called out Roger Goodell for how he has handled this whole lockout situation. Notably, (Ravens) veteran Derrick Mason even referred to Goodell as “a joke.” What was your initial reaction to Derrick Mason calling Goodell “a joke” and when you first heard the news, what did you think about that?
AS: Well, that’s a strong comment to make about somebody. You know, there are people that I don’t like that I wouldn’t call “a joke” publicly. I just think that there’s more tact that should be exercised at certain points. You have to be smart about these things and look there are a lot of bitter and angry feelings right now between both sides.
There are people on the NFL side that think people on the NFLPA side are a joke and there are people on the NFLPA side that think that people on the NFL side are a joke.
You know what, both sides are better off keeping those feelings to themselves and let this process play itself out, let’s try to get a new labor deal, let’s make sure that we have football next year and you know what, they can go call people “a joke” all you want, OK, but we’re during a time like this where tensions are high and it doesn’t serve anybody well to do that.
ZM: Being as close to the situation day in and day out and knowing the information that you do, if you had to give a percentage, what would you say the chances are that we have an NFL season this fall?
AS: Zach, I want to believe that logic will prevail, that there’s so much money at stake that people will figure this out and I do believe that will be the case.
But I will say I’m not convinced that that will be the case and there are still some significant hurdles that have to be overcome, most notably trying to work out a deal, and we have to hear from the legal system and the U.S. Circuit before we know any actual answers and can give specific percentages.
I will say I’d like to think and do believe that they’ll work it out, but I’m not convinced that they will.