“It’s unfortunate that the President decided to use his immense platform to make divisive and offensive statements about our players and the NFL. We strongly believe that players are leaders in our communities and positive influences. They have achieved their positions through tremendous work and dedication and should be celebrated for their success and positive impact. We believe it is important to support any of our players who choose to peacefully express themselves with the hope of change for good. As Americans, we are fortunate to be able to speak openly and freely.”
Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL draft. The draft rules were last updated in 2009. The team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule . Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl ).  Prior to the merger agreements in 1966, the American Football League (AFL) operated in direct competition with the NFL and held a separate draft . This led to a bidding war over top prospects between the two leagues. As part of the merger agreement on June 8, 1966, the two leagues held a multiple-round " common draft ". Once the AFL officially merged with the NFL in 1970, the common craft became the NFL draft. 
The following is a list of suspensions in the National Football League (NFL). Most NFL suspensions have been for players, but several coaches, owners, general managers, and game officials have also been suspended. After Roger Goodell became commissioner in 2006, the league began cracking down on players performing violent hits, as well as handing out more frequent suspensions for violating the league's personal conduct and substance abuse policies. After the 2011 season was over, Goodell handed down one of the most severe suspensions in league history when he suspended eight New Orleans Saints players and coaches for their involvement in the Saints bounty program .