- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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Von Miller needed three weeks to decide that he would add his name to the NFL Players Association lawsuit this spring. The Texas A&M linebacker prayed and consulted with family before finally agreeing to be the draft prospect named next to Tom Brady, et al.
"I've been making tough decisions for the longest now," Miller said, "picking which school I wanted to go to, coming back for my senior year, which agents, and deciding to join this lawsuit. They've all been tough decisions and I feel I've handled them well."
Miller's decision may be controversial in a league that prefers its players be on the same page, but it didn't stop him from accepting the NFL's offer to participate at a Play 60 clinic Wednesday morning at Chelsea Piers. He met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell before the clinic began. They didn't talk about the labor situation.
Goodell reiterated later to reporters that the league was in some limbo waiting for Judge Susan Nelson's ruling lifting the lockout to be confirmed or overturned.
"Some motions were filed this morning and some more motions filed later this afternoon," Goodell said. "I don't think we have any indication of when she's going to rule."
So with the league and the players in a holding pattern, the NFL is hosting players like Miller, who have no idea whether there will be rookie minicamp, if they will have team workouts or even when they can sign their first NFL contract. But Miller didn't want that to detract from enjoying the draft and their trip to the 2011 NFL draft.
The day before a draft in which he is projected to go in the top 10, Miller just wants to be one of the prospects taking in the scene.
"I want to come here and I want to enjoy myself in New York," Miller said.
Miller said he hasn't felt any negativity this week, and the issue didn't come up with the teams he has met with.
"Honestly it doesn't," Miller said. "It's not really a big deal. I didn't do it for the notoriety, I did it to help out those guys. And I think they all know that I'm not the type of guy to raise trouble. I think they know I did it for a greater purpose and it hasn't been a problem."
The one team Miller hasn't heard from is the Cowboys, and he made no secret that he's love to play for a team he's watched since he was a child. Miller said that as a kid he thought the Dallas star was a requisite logo on an NFL field.
Joining the players suit, which he considered an honor to be asked, has brought Miller closer to players who will soon be his peers. He said he didn't do it for this reason, but he has heard from veterans who expressed their gratitude that he added his name knowing that it could alienate some NFL owners.
Miller admits he felt a little awestruck sitting next to Chiefs linebacker Mike Vrabel, who he'd heard about for years thanks to a mutual coach.
"When I'm sitting next to him in the courtroom, I'm still a fan," Miller said. "You know I haven't been picked yet."
Despite all the uncertainty, that one thing is about to change.
Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.
1dSam Khan Jr.