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Panel lifts limit on hurt players in allocation draft

The expansion teams' already low expectations for the NFL's veteran allocation draft have fallen even further.

In a move Carolina Panthers general manager Bill Polian called "completely unacceptable," the NFL management council's executive committee decided that an unlimited number of players facing off-season surgery will be eligible to be placed in the allocation draft pool.

One of the chief concerns of the Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars about the allocation draft has long been that teams would try to unload only old or injured players.

Officials were relieved when the player-access plan, finalized last month, stipulated that each existing NFL club could place only one player on injured reserve and one veteran with 10 or more years' experience in the draft pool.

However, the CEC decided last week that teams may also expose players facing off-season surgery if an independent physician determines those players will be ready to play when the 1995 season begins.

Polian said the change will have a "huge" negative impact on the talent pool available in the allocation draft.

"We need serviceable players, not people who'll spend the preseason rehabilitating themselves, nor should we have the obligation of picking up surgical costs," he said.

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