As expected, the NFL Players Association has re-appointed executive director DeMaurice Smith to a second term. The NFLPA announced the development on its Twitter page.
Originally hired in 2009 from a field of four finalists, Smith faced no opposition this time around. Despite scattered rumors that a faction of the NFLPA Executive Committee planned to nominate an alternative candidate, and in the face of an overt effort by sports lawyer (and now NFL Coaches Association executive director) David Cornwell to encourage a closer look to be taken at Smith’s work, Smith’s job never was in jeopardy.
The move comes only a week after multiple reports emerged regarding the salary cap possibly being lower in 2012 than it was in 2011, with the union’s agreement to allow the league to strip $46 million in salary-cap space from the Cowboys and Redskins serving as the bargaining chip that kept the team-by-team spending limit from being in the range of $116 million for 2012.
Instead, the number climbed from $120.375 million to $120.6 million. Though, as a practical matter, unchanged from 2011, it’s far better than having the number drop only eight months after a new labor deal was finalized.
If the number had indeed dropped, Smith undoubtedly would have faced a challenger this week.
The next question becomes the duration of the contract. In 2009, Smith wanted a four-year deal; the union leadership insisted on a three-year arrangement. With the cement still hardening on the CBA, a short-term deal aimed at giving union leadership a chance to take a thorough look at the benefits and detriments of the labor agreement could be prudent at this juncture.