'Plan for a stoppage': NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith reportedly wants players to save for stoppage

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Contributor

The current collective-bargaining agreement, signed by the NFL and NFL Players Association in 2011 after an offseason lockout, expires at the end of the 2020 season.

The league and the union have already begun talks on a new labor deal; the New York Times reported Tuesday that the NFL has thus far “shifted away from its combative approach” to negotiations and is open to giving players a slight increase in their share of revenues.

That doesn’t mean the NFLPA is going to fall for a supposed kinder NFL.

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‘Plan for a work stoppage’

NFLPA Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith is urging agents to have their clients save money in case of a prolonged work stoppage. (AP)
NFLPA Executive Director, DeMaurice Smith is urging agents to have their clients save money in case of a prolonged work stoppage. (AP)

On Tuesday, Sports Business Journal’s Liz Mullen reported that NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to all player agents, asking that agents urge players to save money in the event of a work stoppage.

“We are advising players to plan for a work stoppage of at least a year in length,” Smith’s email said.

It’s another sign that the NFLPA may dig in to make sure it gets more in the next CBA, and is willing to withhold labor to do so.

‘Madden’ money will be set aside

In February, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported that one of the ways players will make sure they have money to withstand a prolonged lockout or strike is with royalty checks from the ultra-popular “Madden” video game.

Robinson wrote that players have collectively agreed to save four years’ worth of “Madden” checks, in the hopes of using the money to float themselves during a work stoppage.

While it’s unclear how much money that is for each player, the union said it can go a long way.

Obviously, the NFLPA’s growing “war chest” isn’t for players like Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson; it’s to keep rank-and-file guys, who are earning the league minimum, from wanting to cave to whatever the NFL is offering because they’re running low on money.

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