Von Miller on Suing the NFL

March 25th, 2011

ProPlayerInsiders.com published an interview Friday with Von Miller, a soon-to-be NFL rookie who also is part of a lawsuit vs. the NFL. Miller calls being one of the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit “a tremendous opportunity.”

The full text of the story is posted below. The original link on ProPlayerInsiders.com is here.

Von Miller isn’t clueless. He knows there’s some risk involved in suing the NFL before he’s drafted into it. He just decided being a part of the Brady vs. NFL lawsuit was worth that risk.

“I hope it wouldn’t hurt my draft stock,” said Miller, the former Texas A&M linebacker who’s being projected as a top-five pick in next month’s draft. “But you can’t really get possessive over something you never had. So if I fall, then that’s the way it will be. I’ll still be signed with someone and playing football in the NFL.”

Miller is the only incoming rookie whose name appears as a plaintiff on the antitrust suit the NFLPA filed earlier this month in an effort to secure an injunction against the NFL-imposed lockout. He said he was approached, through his agent, at the Super Bowl about becoming a part of the lawsuit and that he needed about three weeks to think about it and discuss it with a group of friends and advisers that included Jets running back LaDanian Tomlinson. He’d been following the NFL’s labor situation for more than a year, since he’d contemplated coming out as a junior for the 2010 draft, and he decided the NFLPA’s cause was worth signing up for.

“I just wanted to do my part to make sure football continues to get played,” Miller told ProPlayerInsiders.com in a telephone interview Wednesday. “Football is a business, and I really wanted to be informed about the business aspect of it. I was asked to be a part of this, and I wanted a chance to help out this elite group of guys.”

Miller’s involvement in the suit, from a legal aspect, is an effort by the NFLPA to combat the league’s desire to implement a rookie wage scale that would apply to this year’s draft class. But from Miller’s end, the decision to join up is a testament to the impact of the star power of the suit’s other named plaintiffs.

“Anytime you can help a group of guys like Mr. Brady, Mr. Brees, Mr. Manning and Mr. Vrabel, that’s a tremendous opportunity,” Miller said.

Miller said he hasn’t spent much time pondering the impact of a rookie wage scale, nor has it been a big topic when he’s had the chance to socialize with fellow members of the incoming draft class.

“I’m in this for the guys who have come before me,” said Miller, who was well received by veteran players during his visit to the NFLPA’s annual meeting last week in Marco Island, Fla. “I’m a team guy, and I’m ready to help the team.”

As for the draft itself, Miller says he hasn’t been invited to New York City for draft week just yet and that he’s not sure what he’ll do if he is. There’s been some recent controversy over whether incoming rookies will or even should attend the draft during the lockout, and Miller has certainly followed it. But he says he hasn’t made any decisions yet.

“I’ve always dreamed of going to New York, to Radio City Music Hall, walking across that stage and shaking Mr. Goodell’s hand,” Miller said. “But with the situation and the circumstances the way they are, I’m not sure. I’m just going to take it day by day.”

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