Each year for recent NFL Drafts, teams have invited former players to announce second- and third-round selections. The 2013 NFL Draft will be no different, except that some of the players involved are in the process of suing the league over head injuries.
Alex Marvez of FOXSports.com reported Wednesday morning that nine of the players set to announce for various teams are among the players alleging they suffered head injuries from playing in the NFL and are participating in litigation against the league.
Larry Centers (Cardinals), Tony Casillas (Cowboys), Dick Schafrath (Browns), Randy Gradishar (Broncos), Dave Robinson (Packers), Gary Barbaro (Chiefs), Joey Browner (Vikings), Jeremiah Trotter (Eagles) and Isaiah Kacyvenski (Seahawks) are the players making selections who also are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NFL.
It obviously creates an awkward situation, but Greg Aiello, NFL vice president of communications, told Marvez it's a totally "separate matter" and choosing the players to make the selections is up to the teams.
“The concussion litigation is a separate matter and not relevant to our celebration of former players at the draft,” Aiello said.
Obviously welcoming in new players to the NFL while also alleging in a court of law that the NFL caused permanent brain issues is a bit of a Catch-22 for these players. It's awkward for everyone involved even though it probably won't pop out as a major issue during the presentation of picks, barring someone really struggling up on the stage with physical limitations.