The NFL Players Association has closed its voting on a new CBA. As everyone waits for the results, the man primarily responsible for the negotiation of the proposed deal has posted an open letter.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith explains in this three-page letter the deal that is the product of months of negotiation, addressing some of the criticisms and explaining why he believes this deal is the right deal at the right time.
“I hear — loudly and clear — those of you who have passionately expressed their perspective that these gains are not enough when weighed against, for example, adding another game,” Smith writes. “That positions reflects how some members have chosen to weigh what aspect of the deal is important to them.”
Weighing the factors is the key. Every player will weigh them differently, assuming they weighed them at all. As previously explained, the interests of the 20 or so players who know they have starting jobs in 2020 will be different from the interests of the other 43 (including practice squads) per team. The former group is worried about playing a 17th game; most of the latter is worried about playing only one game. But too many of the 43 listened to those from the 20 who don’t want to play an extra game, and thus cajoled plenty of the 43 into voting against their interests.
Smith also addresses the the controversial agreement to accept the “standard Social Security disability offset,” explaining that it was balanced against “pension increases for everyone and the retroactive inclusion of hundreds of players into a pension system from which they were excluded.”
He also explains that economic downturns and potential disruptions (like the one currently unfolding) will impact players more than owners. “Owners who possess and control billions of assets are undeniably overall richer than we are, will be in the business longer than every player will be and can absorb economic downturns better than our collective body can,” Smith bluntly states.
He also mentions the steps taken to prepare for a potential work stoppage, which could happen if the vote on the proposed CBA fails to ratify it, but it’s clear that he has concerns that the players won’t have enough money to win a work stoppage. Which is another reason for his decision to present them with an opportunity to do a deal now.
“I am proud that we have taken steps to present an early deal to you and the decision lies with the players,” Smith writes, “which is as it should be.”
Soon, we’ll know what the vote was, which will allow the NFLPA to determine what will be next.
DeMaurice Smith posts open letter after CBA vote closes originally appeared on Pro Football Talk