Texas A&M's Miller, a plaintiff in antitrust suit, will attend draft

  • By NFL.com Wire Reports
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Texas A&M linebacker Von Miller, a potential top-five pick and a plaintiff in an antitrust lawsuit against the league, said Thursday he will attend the NFL draft in New York.

Miller told ESPN that he will be in court April 6 as part of the lawsuit and at Radio City Music Hall on April 28 for the first round of the three-day draft.

Miller is the only non-NFL player listed as one of 10 named plaintiffs in the suit, known as Brady et al v. the National Football League et al. The lawsuit takes aim at the draft as an unfair labor practice and lists this year's draft class as a protected class in the suit, which is why Miller agreed to be included as a plaintiff.

Miller's agent, Joby Branion, works for Athletes First, a representation company in Irvine, Calif., where one of the agents is Andrew Kessler, the son of Jeffrey Kessler. The elder Kessler has been an outside counsel for the NFL Players Association for years and was directly involved in the players seeking the injunction to block the lockout.

Miller is the fourth player to announce his intentions to attend the draft, joining Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones, Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson.

League sources told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora on Wednesday that 20 players have been invited to attend the draft. Among the other prospects to receive invitations are Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and running back Mark Ingram, Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn defensive lineman Nick Fairley, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara and USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith.

NFL Network's Albert Breer reported Friday that Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt and Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert also have been invited.

Maryland wide receiver Torrey Smith has been invited to New York for draft-week events, but he hasn't been asked to attend the draft itself, a league source told La Canfora on Thursday.


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The NFL Players Association is scheduling alternate draft-week events that aren't intended to compete with the draft itself. Some agents have said they are advising their clients not to attend the festivities at Radio City Music Hall because players are being locked out.

The league hasn't yet confirmed who has been invited or who already has accepted invites to the draft, out of respect for these rookies who find themselves in an awkward position given the lockout and the sentiment expressed by some that they shouldn't partake in a league event and shake hands with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell at a time when players are locked out.

For years, the league had approximately five to seven players on-site at the draft, but last year's move to primetime, combined with the special nature of the celebration of the 75th NFL Draft, had the league welcome a record 17 players to New York.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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