NFL Draft

No hugs? Here's why Roger Goodell's draft-day tradition might not happen in 2024

The 65-year-old commissioner might be changing up his greetings at the 2024 NFL Draft.

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The NFL draft has plenty of traditions.

From awkward backstage moments to rowdy fans cheering and jeering, there are things you can count on every year during the event. But one tradition might be going away, at least for 2024.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who is almost always booed by the crowd when he first takes the stage, might not be hugging players in attendance after they get picked. The 65-year-old Goodell underwent back surgery three weeks ago, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and his patented hugs will be a "draft-time decision."

Since taking over as commissioner in 2006, Goodell has been through various draft-day greetings. There have been classic handshakes, modern dap-ups and full-on hugs where the league boss was lifted off his feet.

This year, the 13 prospects who made the trip to Detroit will have to be a bit gentler when they are called on stage. Maybe Goodell's iconic chair from the 2020 virtual draft will make another appearance? Time will tell.

Here are some of the iconic Goodell moments from past drafts, since we might not be getting many tonight:

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