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NFL scouting boycott discussed

Published: Saturday, Feb. 5 2011 12:24 a.m. MST

The NFL players union has discussed a boycott of the scouting combine later this month with player agents.

Several people familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Friday that the union suggested keeping potential 2011 draft picks away from the combine in Indianapolis and from other draft-related activities while there is no collective bargaining agreement. The people spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to give out the information.

Such a boycott could jeopardize the draft status of those players, who are not yet members of the union. And with CBA negotiations including a possible rookie wage scale, such a move could be detrimental to college players entering the league.

"We have no knowledge of any such discussions," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the AP in an e-mail.

The union is hopeful such a boycott would disrupt teams' scouting of college players, but it's unlikely to get widespread support from the agents whose first duty is helping their clients get selected high in the draft.

Those agents already are upset about the rookie wage scale proposed by the owners for a new CBA; the current agreement expires March 3. Such a scale would severely limit the bargaining power for first-round picks in particular. The likelihood of anyone approaching Sam Bradford's record $50 million guaranteed in his rookie contract with the Rams last summer would be nil.

The draft is April 28-30 in New York, and union officials would like for college players to skip those proceedings if there is no CBA, particularly if the league has locked out the players.

STEELERS CENTER OUT: Maurkice Pouncey is sidelined for the Super Bowl.

The Pittsburgh Steelers center has a high left ankle sprain that has kept him out of practice since he was injured nearly two weeks ago in the AFC championship game. Now, the rookie Pro Bowl selection will miss the big game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Backup Doug Legursky will play in his place in what will be his first NFL start as a center.

HAYNESWORTH ACCUSED OF ASSAULT: Redskins defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth has been accused of assault in what police said was a case of road rage.

Fairfax County police spokeswoman Shelley Broderick said a 38-year-old man told investigators he was driving a Honda Civic in suburban Washington when he saw a pickup truck tailgating him and made a hand gesture.

The driver of the truck, later identified as Haynesworth, got out of his car when the two vehicles stopped and reportedly assaulted the other driver.

Haynesworth has not been formally charged in the case. But a warrant has been issued in the case, and police have been in touch with Haynesworth's attorney, Broderick said.

SIX HURT BY FALLING ICE: On Friday, six people were hurt when they were struck by ice falling off the roof of Cowboys Stadium. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, but the accident added to the general sense of frustration with cold weather around the Dallas area this week.

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