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SBD/February 7, 2014/Leagues and Governing BodiesPrint All
The NFLPA is "headed for its most significant leadership change" since the '09 election of Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith, according to Tom Pelissero of USA TODAY. At least seven of 11 spots on the union's exec committee, including the presidency, will "change hands in March at a time some veterans are hoping the conversation finally will shift away from negotiations" on the '11 CBA. Cardinals OT Eric Winston said, "Going forward, we've got seven more years of this (deal), and we have to find ways internally to improve and get better and help players and help former players." Pelissero notes NFLPA President Domonique Foxworth "must be replaced at next month's meeting because he didn't play this past season." The same "goes for executive committee members Charlie Batch, Brian Dawkins, Scott Fujita, Matt Light, Brandon Moore and Jeff Saturday." The union's 32 player reps "will be up for re-election this fall, too, changing the voting base before Smith seeks a third term" in March '15. Multiple committee members said that "confidence is high in Smith." However, Smith "has detractors among agents, player reps and the rank and file, based mostly upon the perception players didn't get a big enough piece of revenues" in the CBA. Saints QB Drew Brees -- who has "sat on the executive committee for six years -- is considered a shoe-in for the presidency if he chooses to run," but he has "turned down nominations twice before." Sources said that Smith "could be pushed out next year over dissatisfaction about the revenue-sharing model in the CBA." Smith's critics point out that the projected '14 salary cap of $126.3M "remains lower than the last capped year under the old CBA." But the NFLPA counters that teams spent nearly $10B on "player salaries and benefits in 2011 and '12, more than half the league's record revenue" (USA TODAY, 2/7).