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“Every NFL team has a JaMarcus Russell story. Now the owners want the players to bail them out of this situation.”

Yee suggests the solution is drafting more wisely.

“There really isn’t any excuse for significant blunders like Russell,” Yee said. “NFL draft choices undergo a level of scrutiny that would make a TSA agent blush. Every potential draft pick’s personal, social and academic history is analyzed, sometimes by former FBI agents employed by the league or team. Their entire medical histories are revealed. Every game and practice is available on tape. Psychological profiles and intelligence tests are given.

“The prospects also participate in all-star games and the NFL combine. Yet, poor decisions happen every year. An obvious conclusion is that some teams employ poor decision makers, and this is within the owners’ control to fix, not the players’.”

Yee also advises teams who don’t think a player is worth the money he’s slotted to receive when that team’s turn to choose arrives, pass on the pick. He admits it “takes guts,” but notes a substantial portion of the New England Patriots’ roster is made up of undrafted players. Teams don’t necessarily need a roster full of high draft picks to win.

Another suggestion: If a draft pick is demanding too much money, don’t pay it. History shows when teams have done that, they usually are right.

“In 1979, the Buffalo Bills made Tom Cousineau the first pick in the entire draft,” Yee said. “The Bills refused to pay Cousineau what he was being offered by a Canadian Football League team. Cousineau went to Canada and on to a modestly successful pro career. The Bills did OK, too. Shortly after rejecting Cousineau’s demands, they went to four Super Bowls.”

Other issues in the bargaining process involve, among others, treatment of retired players and continuing health care coverage for those who leave the game.

“But paying rookie players and having a longer season shouldn’t be the impediment to an exciting 2011 season,” Yee said.