Lions Move Minicamp So Calvin Johnson Can Participate
Goodell: Congratulations and welcome to the NFL.
Johnson: Thanks. I've always dreamed of being a professional football player, and now I've accomplished it.
Goodell: Well, actually, you're not a professional football player, you're a corporate pitch man who uses football to endorse products.
Goodell: The NFL's raison d'etre is making money, and we make money by making our sponsors happy.
Johnson: Raison --
Goodell: It'll all be explained to you in due time.
As we previously noted at NFL FanHouse, rookies who were invited to Reebok's NFL Player Rookie Premier in Los Angeles this weekend were told by the NFL that making appearances for league sponsors is more important than practice. Some players, notably Colts receiver Anthony Gonzalez and Packers running back Brandon Jackson, actually skipped minicamps because the league told them they had no choice.
Lions rookie receiver Calvin Johnson was also invited to the Rookie Premier and also would have had to skip minicamp to attend, but the Lions think Johnson is so important to their plans that they changed their minicamp schedule so Johnson could be there.
It's ridiculous that the NFL put its top rookies and their teams in a position where they had to make that decision, but the Lions made the right move. The Lions need Johnson to learn the offense in a hurry, and they can't let the league's misplaced priorities hinder those efforts.