The NFLPA Rookie Premiere began on Thursday and will last through Saturday. As we reported, three members of the Cleveland Browns were invited to participate in the event: QB Johnny Manziel, QB Connor Shaw, and RB Terrance West. According to multiple reports, though, Manziel did not attend the first day of the event. In an interview with Pro Player Insiders, DeMaurice Smith, head of the NFLPA, said that he didn't care about whether Manziel was there or not, but also spoke to the advantages of such an opportunity:
"This is an opportunity that we negotiated for [players] to learn how to maximize, not only their brand, but their role in the business of football. The core part of it is [that] we teach not so much how to care about your marketable commodity as a brand, but issues such as personal responsibility. What we expect from you as a member of this union. What players have come before you and fought for you. I don’t have a specific comment or care about whether [Manziel] is here or not, but those are the lessons that we try to instill in the guys that are here and we hope that they learn them."
According to Lindsay Jones of the USA Today, "Manziel is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Friday to participate in the premiere." It is unclear why he wasn't there on Thursday, but we're pretty sure that West was there, based on the messages he had been posting on his Twitter account. What are some of the other things the players will be doing at the event? From the USA Today:
They'll sign more than a 1,000 trading cards, get their faces scanned to be included in the new Madden football video game and pose for pictures in their authentic team uniforms.
SB Nation is also in attendance at the Rookie Premiere, so we will pass along any Browns-related highlights as they come along over the next couple of days.