SBD/April 7, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Gilbert Sends E-mail To Agents Outlining His Grievances With NFL's Current CBA

Gilbert (l) is in the process of drafting a platform for his NFLPA Exec Dir candidacy
Former NFLer Sean Gilbert, who is considering running against NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith next year, last week circulated an e-mail to agents "outlining his problems with the CBA and his steps to fix it," according to Ben Volin of the BOSTON GLOBE. Gilbert in the e-mail wrote, "Under [late NFLPA Exec Dir] Gene Upshaw, the salary cap would have been $157 million this year instead of $133 million. That is a shift of $768 million from players to owners THIS YEAR ALONE. 2. Through the first four years of this Collective Bargaining Agreement more than $2.5 billion has already shifted from the players to the owners." But Volin reported there "is no math behind Gilbert’s numbers or a way to verify his numbers." Gilbert said he is "in the process of drafting a platform" for his candidacy for the NFLPA top job. The platform "seems to be centered around two ideas -- that the players can terminate the CBA because of collusion, and a new concept called the 'Contract Dissolution Benefit,' which he didn’t explain." Gilbert "made clear that he isn’t advocating a player strike." He "likely will have an uphill battle proving any owner collusion in court, and Smith appears to still have good support among players." The e-mail comes after Gilbert "met with several agents at the combine to recruit the support of their players" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/6).

PRESIDENTIAL PROBLEM? The BOSTON GLOBE's Volin noted one "interesting situation to watch" is that of free agent OT Eric Winston, who was recently elected NFLPA President, succeeding Domonique Foxworth. Neither of the "last two presidents were able to find spots with teams after being elected." Perhaps Winston’s unemployment "is because of shaky play" but former NFLPA President Kevin Mawae "openly questioned if he was being blackballed, and it’s fair to wonder if the same could happen to Winston" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/6). The NFLPA and its Exec Committee are “scheduled to spend the next two days meeting with high-ranking NFL officials to emphasize the importance of player conduct” following the Dolphins’ bullying scandal. The gathering will mark the “first formal meeting” for Winston as president (ESPN.com, 4/7).
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