DePaso becomes NFLPA general counsel

With Richard Berthelsen retiring from the NFLPA following 40 years of service to the league’s players, the union needed a new general counsel.

It didn’t have to look far.

Tom DePaso, who joined the NFLPA 28 years ago, replaces Berthelsen as the union’s top in-house lawyer.

“The players of the NFL knew they had an advocate who would fight for them while Richard Berthelsen served as the NFLPA’s general counsel,” NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a recent press release. “Today, they can be confident that Tom DePaso will continue protecting and defending their rights long into the future.”

DePaso can relate to the players because he was one, playing linebacker for the Bengals in 1978 and 1979.

Though the next labor fight remains at least nine years away, the current relationship between the league and the union is frosty, at best.  Which means there likely will be plenty of opportunities for DePaso to protect and defend player rights moving forward.