- Adam Schefter, NFL
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Just days before Wednesday's supplemental draft, the NFL still has not informed former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor whether he will be eligible for it.
As time and his chances appear to dim, one of Pryor's attorneys, David Cornwell, is optimistic his client will be granted entry.
"We have been in discussions with the Commissioner's office over the past week to address the NFL's concerns," Cornwell emailed Sunday. "I am confident that once the NFL has a full understanding of the facts, Terrelle will be part of Wednesday's supplemental draft."
Pryor is still seeking a meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell to make a case for being declared eligible, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen on Sunday. Goodell is reviewing the facts of Pryor's case and the commissioner could delay the supplemental draft if he chooses, league sources told Mortensen, however as of now the draft remains on schedule.
The rules that govern eligibility for the supplemental draft state simply, "To be eligible for a supplemental draft, a player's petition for special eligibility must be approved by the League office and his name promulgated to clubs."
What the league looks at with each petition are the circumstances that took place since the April draft was held -- if a player was not eligible in April, what has changed up until now. The questions about Pryor are not simple. The league has examined whether his suspension would impact his eligibility the same way as a player who has been declared academically ineligible since the April draft. It has not come to a final decision, at least not yet. As of Sunday, an NFL spokesman said there was "nothing new to report" in regards to Pryor.
But other sources around the league believe that, after all the controversy regarding players who violated the NCAA regulations last year and the pressure Nick Saban and others put on the NFL, the league now is trying to close the door for players who come into the NFL because they violated NCAA regulations. If true, then Pryor would suffer for some of the prior actions of others.
But some believe it is difficult for the NFL to assess the nature of NCAA violations and if it wants to do that, it needs to announce a new policy and apply it prospectively. But then again, it would give Goodell the type of power he has with the conduct policy, with the final call on his desk, applying his standard of right and wrong.
Just because a player has not yet been declared eligible does not mean the process is complete. As petitions for eligibility are approved, names are circulated to the teams. The process is ongoing and there is no final list yet, but the draft is scheduled for Wednesday.
The eligible players so far are former Georgia running back Caleb King, former Northern Illinois safety Tracy Wilson, former Western Carolina cornerback Torez Jones, former Lindenwood University defensive end Keenan Mace, and former North Carolina defensive end Michael McAdoo.
When he announced his departure from Ohio State, Pryor already had been suspended by the school and the NCAA for the first five games of what would have been his senior season this fall for accepting improper benefits, such as cash and discounted tattoos.
The scandal led to coach Jim Tressel's forced resignation May 30. Tressel acknowledged knowing his players were taking improper benefits but covered it up for more than nine months before Ohio State officials discovered the violations.
Pryor is Ohio State's all-time leading rusher among quarterbacks, with 2,164 yards. He also threw 57 touchdown passes, tying a school record.
Adam Schefter is ESPN's NFL Insider. Information from ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen and The Associated Press was used in this report.
2hJohn Keim and Adam Caplan