NFL’s New Policy Could Spell Doom On Draft Night By Punishing Rookies For Conduct Prior To Entering The League

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell

Getty Image / Kevin Mazur

The NFL drums up a new policy every offseason, along with creating new rules and guidelines for the game.

Well, it sounds like the league is attempting to potentially punish incoming rookies a bit harsher, which could make Draft night that much more interesting.

According to Pro Football Talk, the NFL has created a new policy that could discipline incoming rookies for conduct they committed before entering the league.

“The 2023 version of the Personal Conduct Policy includes language that opens the door to the possibility of imposing discipline on a player for conduct that happened before he joined the NFL. That amounts to a dramatic change to the prior Personal Conduct Policy.”

Pro Football Talk shares the entire policy.

“Nothing in this Policy should be read to limit the league’s authority to investigate or discipline potential Policy violations alleged to have occurred before a player is under contract or Draft-eligible, to players under contract; all rookie players selected in the NFL College Draft; all undrafted rookie players following the NFL College Draft; all Draft-eligible players who attend a Scouting Combine or Pro Day or otherwise make themselves available for employment in the NFL; all unsigned veterans who were under contract in the prior League Year; and all other prospective players once they commence negotiations with a club concerning employment or otherwise make themselves available for employment in the NFL.”

With that said, the NFL’s new policy makes it so the league can punish a player for any possible legal trouble they were in prior to joining the draft.

That means, some of these incoming rookies could be facing a suspension before they even play a down for their respective team.

Considering the league is often given flack for how it handles certain legal matters, this might be a good first step in creating a suspension system that makes more sense moving forward.

Although this new policy was recently written up, the NFL Draft already concluded this year. So, next year’s rookie class will likely be the first to potentially experience being punished before they even enter the league.