When addressing the media yesterday, players union executive director DeMaurice Smith referred to a "brave young Aggie prospect" who had joined nine established NFL players in a class-action lawsuit against the league's owners. That brave Aggie is linebacker Von Miller, whom many prognosticators see the 49ers taking with the No. 7 pick in the draft on April 28.
Two questions arise: Why Miller? And what impact might his inclusion have on his draft status?
As Pro Football Talk adroitly explained on Friday night, the presence of a draft prospect in the lawsuit allows the players to challenge a rookie wage scale -- something the owners want in a new collective bargaining agreement -- as part of their anti-trust case.
But any draft prospect would have sufficed. Why Miller? Perhaps because he's represented by Athletes First, one of whose agents is Andrew Kessler. His father: Jeffrey Kessler, the attorney for the NFL Players Association, who may have impressed upon his son the importance of having a high-profile would-be rookie in the lawsuit. Calls Saturday to Athletes First and to officials with the former players association were not returned.
Is Miller taking a risk? Will teams see him as a trouble maker and steer clear of him early in Round 1? I made a few phone calls, and the feedback I got was that Miller's background and character check out nicely - indeed, it's helped boost his stock - and that no one sees the lawsuit as a red flag. Of course, I didn't speak with any owners ...
One more related item that may or may not be important: Athletes First's lead agent is David Dunn, who represents 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke.
-- Matt Barrows