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Rival Report 5/10: Strange NFL rule costing some rookies important practice time

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Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY Sports

How would you feel if you just had your NFL dreams come true, and then you were told that you had to leave for a couple of months whether you want to or not. This despite most other rookies being allowed to stay and continue to learn their new job while you on the other hand are forced to leave your new team entirely.

That is exactly what happens every year to rookies that haven't graduated from their college before they were drafted that have their schools still in session under the Quarter system. UCLA, Stanford, Oregon are a few of the major colleges that are still in session until June, and if a rookie went to one of those schools and didn't graduate before the NFL draft then they are forced to leave until their school is no longer in session.

They don't have to go back to school, and they are adults who just had their NFL dreams come true and have the desire to be with their new teams, but they still can't stay with the team. This is a yearly thing, but should it be? What is the reasoning behind this rule anyway, these people should have their own choice to return to school or not.

It isn't as bad for the high draft selections that are likely to make the team anyway like Green Bay's Kenny Clark from UCLA or the Jacksonville Jaguars Myles Jack who also went to UCLA. However, this rule applies to everybody. That includes Undrafted Free Agents and late round picks who are not guaranteed roster spots and have a limited time to impress their coaches and make the team.

It isn't fair to take chances away from players who already have the odds stacked against them, and it isn't fair to players like Clark and Jack that would rather stay with their teams. The Packers rookies that are subject to this rule will miss 9 OTA sessions, 9! How is this rule still in existence?

It shouldn't be, it puts players back in what is already a tough transition. The NFL should take a serious look at removing it and leveling the playing field for all rookies, not just the ones that have finished their year of school.

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