DeMaurice Smith To Head NFLPA For At Least Three More Years After Committee Vote
NFLPA Exec Dir DeMaurice Smith has been selected by a 14-player committee to lead the organization for at least the next three years, union officials announced last night on Twitter. "The NFLPA selection committee has unanimously selected DeMaurice Smith to continue in the role as our Executive Director," NFLPA President Eric Winston tweeted around 9:00pm ET. "Congratulations to De and we know there is more work to be done." Smith tweeted, "The union is centered on player leadership. I am proud of their commitment, humbled by their trust in me and honored to serve. There is more work to be done." NFLPA Assistant Exec Dir of External Affairs George Atallah said the union would not be commenting beyond those two tweets. Smith was elected under a new election process in the NFLPA constitution, the terms of which just became public in the last several weeks. Under the old rules, any three player team reps could put up a candidate for Exec Dir and there would be an election. The rules were changed after eight different challengers received recommendations to run against Smith in '15. As part of the new constitution, a selection committee of 14 players determine the fate of the Exec Dir. The new rules dictate that the Exec Dir serves a term no less than three years and no more than five. ESPN's Jim Trotter, who first broke the news last night, reports Smith's term will run through '21. The current CBA expires in March '21. Smith's current contract was set to expire in March (Liz Mullen, Staff Writer).
Mehri said the selection of Smith does not
represent the choice of NFL players
READY TO RUMBLE? NBC's Mike Florio notes the NFLPA is now "locked in with De Smith as they embark on the final three years of the current labor deal." With Smith’s new contract coinciding with the end of the CBA, the union is "probably going to keep Smith for another three-year term beyond that." Florio: "I don’t see that it would make any sense whatsoever that it would change leaders of the organization in just a matter of months before that” ("PFT," NBCSN, 9/20). YAHOO SPORTS' Frank Schwab wrote Smith and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell facing off over the next CBA is "like a boxing card that’s announced years ahead of time." Smith has "seen many people threaten to take his post, but he keeps lasting in his job" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/19).
TWITTER REAX: Pepperdine sports law professor Alicia Jessop tweeted, "NFL players walk a tightrope in retaining Demaurice Smith. His NFLPA signed off on a CBA giving Goodell the most power of any commissioner." ESPN's Darren Rovell: "After all that has gone on over the last few years, NFL players re-elect DeMaurice Smith in a unanimous vote. I'm confused." The MMQB's Albert Breer: "The upshot of this for the NFLPA is that DeMaurice Smith will lead all negotiations with the NFL thru the '21 expiration of the current CBA." WJFK-AM's Eric Bickel: "De is relentless & brilliant."