Though we don’t know who the three or four finalists for the NFLPA Executive Director position will be, we do know that lawyer David Cornwell isn’t one of them.
Per a source with knowledge of the selection process, David Cornwell has not made the cut after two days of interviews in Dallas.
Though we’ll refrain from sharing our opinions on the exclusion of Cornwell until we know who the finalists are, it’s hard for us to envision at this point a better candidate.
Cornwell is a lawyer, he has worked for the league, and he has represented players in various settings.  He knows the league’s policies and procedures, and he’s far more equipped to preside over the upcoming CBA discussions than any former player who doesn’t share the same degree of experience and training.
Moreover, Cornwell was instrumental in laying the foundation for the rare courtroom loss suffered by the NFL in the StarCaps case.  Specifically, Cornwell’s thorough research and aggressive questioning harvested admissions that the league knew StarCaps had been tainted with a prescription drug, and that the league did nothing to warn the players of this. 
The exclusion of Cornwell tends to support the notion that the folks who’ll be behind the scenes at the newly-configured NFLPA (including Richard Berthelsen and Jeffrey Kessler, who came off sufficiently horribly during Tuesday night’s Real Sports story regarding the retired players’ class action) hope to install a former player who’ll possibly become their puppet.
Of course, that won’t happen if the winner is former player Troy Vincent.  But whether Berthelsen and/or Kessler were able to keep Vincent out remains to be seen.
Our guess?  The finalists will be Trace Armstrong, Mike Kenn, and Roderick West.  And then the question will become whether the player representatives will stage at the annual meeting in March an uprising aimed at installing Vincent as the new Executive Director.
Though we’d greatly admire such moxie, they might want to consider whether such a revolt would be better directed to installing Cornwell instead.


  1. Florio the lawyer acting as bagman for another lawyer.
    If it wasn’t for all the lawyers, we wouldn’t need all the lawyers.

  2. @pats suck . . . .
    i hear that from a lot people. until they find themselves in a position of needing a lawyer.
    then, for some reason, their tune changes dramatically.

  3. whoever it is; I hope he is a push over. I enjoy the salary cap and unguarenteed salaries. Makes for a better league.

  4. January 19th and 20th, two days of closed door meetings at which the MEN who compose the NFLPA Executive Committee continued the process of interviewing candidates for the position of NFLPA Executive Director, and PFT receives the cut list between close of business yesterday and start of business this morning…interesting.
    Richard Berthelsen is STAFF, period! He has never been an elected officer of the NFLPA. He has never played a down in the NFL. As General Counsel at the NFLPA, according to a United States District Court Jury and reaffirmed in an appealate court ruling, was one of the architects in efforts to undermine the MEN WHO WORE THE UNIFORM, PLAYED THE GAME & BUILT THE LEAGUE.
    This is the same self aggrandizing attorney who “according to sources close to the process,” is attempting to exert undue and improper influence on the process of chosing the next Executive Director of the NFLPA. Those two actions demonstrate a fundamental lack of respect for both the RETIRED PLAYER and the CURRENT PLAYER. It futher indicates an utter disregard for the fiduciary responsibility the UNION Staff have for garnering a profit for its membership. MEN the $28 million will come from your pockets. And if the staff doesn’t care about the current retirees, guess how they’ll treat future retirees?
    MEN, ask yourselves, how is it that less than 18 hours after the conclusion of two days worth of closed door meetings is now public on PFT? MEN, ask yourselves, how YOUR PROCESS has been written about in staggering detail by a certain reporter at the Sports Business Journal within hours of an occurance. Is the collusion of staff and non-union members in order to advance an agenda that is in contridiction with the NFLPA Constitution and the WILL OF THE MEN the act of a committed, selfless, loyal staff?
    Berthelsen and his small cadre of less than honorable staff cohorts currently working at the NFLPA have demonstrated a level malfeasance that is not only undermining the WILL OF THE MEN, but the NFLPA CONSTITUTION and ultimately, the unity and strength that will be vitally necessary for a successful CBA negotiation.
    The actions Bethelsen and his cohorts are engaging in constitute the unconstitutional subversion of the NFLPA Constitution, the powers prescribed to the NFLPA Executive Committee and the WILL of the rank and file MEN who have played and continue to play in the NFL. By definition, that is a Coup d Tat.
    MEN the NFLPA is YOURS! It is not Richard Berthelsen’s, a regional director, an NFLPA department head, nor outside consultant or legal counsel’s UNION. IT IS THE UNION OF THE MEN WHO PLAY THE GAME! Stay Strong, Stay United… Stay Tuned!!

  5. Berthelsen and co. are going to lose this in a big way. I guess they have no other option seeing as their jobs are on the line. However I don’t think they’re aware of how big this will blow up on them if they fail to act transparently. My impression however is that it’s a done deal. They’re committed to their path as the players movement is committed to theirs. Which makes it war. The players will win, it’s just a question of how it will play out and who’s going to get tainted in the process.

  6. The perfect solution would be Vincent as the Ex. Director. Then he fires Berthlesen and hires Cornwell as the general counsel. That way the players get a former player who understands what they go through while having the experience of Cornwell at the negotiating table.

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