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DeMaurice Smith Pleased With How CBA Has Played Out, Happy With Player Safety
Published August 27, 2014
GILBERT'S PLAN: USA TODAY's Jarrett Bell writes if there was "any issue that galvanized the players" during the '11 lockout, it was "their refusal to extend the regular season at a cost of more bodily wear and tear." That issue "looms as the toughest philosophical hurdle" Gilbert faces in "trying to win support" for the NFLPA Exec Dir position. Gilbert yesterday said he favors an 18-game regular season, but when Seahawks OT Eric Winston was elected NFLPA President in the spring, he "reiterated the players would never budge in their opposition" to that. Taking power from Smith "will be daunting in another sense: Gilbert must sway a rank-and-file membership that typically takes its lead from player reps" and the BOD. For Gilbert to "swing the election, it's paramount that he garners support from union members in leadership positions and from agents, whose support he has also worked to cultivate" (USA TODAY, 8/27). CBSSPORTS.com's Jason La Canfora noted with the CBA "running for seven more years, and that labor peace the foundation of its continued ability to shatter previous marks with its television and Internet deals, it remains to be seen how attractive any of this would be" to Goodell and the owners, though the league "has made no secret of its interest in 18 regular season games" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/26).