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NFLPA tells agents to report any hint of collusion

NFL Players Association Annual State of the Union Press Conference Getty Images

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith has told agents that the union has “heard reports of a concern that teams are working in concert” to “set” player compensation, NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported Wednesday.

Smith expressed this view in a letter to agents in which he asked them to share any evidence gathered of collusion among teams in free agency should they have it, Breer reported.

The news of Smith’s letter comes three weeks into free agency. Though the start of the 2013 league year brought some lucrative longer-term deals, such as the one the Dolphins gave wideout Mike Wallace, the free-agent market has been far from overheated.

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39 Responses to “NFLPA tells agents to report any hint of collusion”
  1. bigjdve says: Apr 3, 2013 4:38 PM

    Sure DeMo, have them tell you, so that you can go and sign a waiver allowing those actions to take place, so that you can get a couple million dollars on the salary cap that doesn’t hold a candle to the 46 million worth of spending taken aware.

    Brilliant.

  2. mtchainsmoker says: Apr 3, 2013 4:39 PM

    I am so sick and tired of unions.

  3. hawkslv says: Apr 3, 2013 4:39 PM

    Wonder how far away one could smell a hint of collusion?

  4. patswhatsup says: Apr 3, 2013 4:39 PM

    It was bound to happen. As players are healtheir and stronger physically, having longer careers, there becomes a surplus of veteran players. It’s not collusion, why do you think all of the players having trouble finding work are 30+ years old?

  5. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Apr 3, 2013 4:41 PM

    Ole D is still pissed off that the league handed him his lunch in the lock out last year. If my employer doesn’t pay me what I think I’m worth can I come crying to him also. What a joke he is!

  6. boyshole25 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:42 PM

    Duh not so funny now though is it players? Should’ve stuck up for the redskins and cowboys instead of letting fool smith be your negotiator

  7. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Apr 3, 2013 4:43 PM

    Collision? Hot dog! Do I ever have something for you Mr Smith! You’ll want to sue when you hear this one!

    Oh, right.

  8. toybkshr says: Apr 3, 2013 4:44 PM

    There prob is some collusion happening, but what’s happening more is a “market correction” due to the
    relatively flat salary cap, and a lot of GM’s having learned the hard way (and by getting their positions because their predecessors didn’t learn) that too many $$ spent on a few non-quaterback players doesn’t allow for the necessary roster depth to be competitive for a 16 game season.

  9. liondriven says: Apr 3, 2013 4:44 PM

    .
    The stench of collusion is so strong you can cut it with a knife.
    .
    If it took D Smith 3 weeks to figure this out he really needs to be replaced.
    .

  10. phreakin says: Apr 3, 2013 4:44 PM

    They’re colluding to not overpay old, past their prime players. And rightfully so. And the reason the market hasn’t developed is because there’s no HUGE names out there. Nobody is gonna pay $15 million a year for on the wrong side of 30 pass rushers.

  11. myschwartzisbiggerthenyours says: Apr 3, 2013 4:45 PM

    This guy is a moron, plain and simple.

  12. ctattles says: Apr 3, 2013 4:45 PM

    Top Ten QB’s All-Time:

    Peyton Manning
    Joe Montana
    Tom Brady
    Dan Marino
    Brett Favre
    Drew Brees
    Aaron Rodgers
    Johnny Unitas
    Otto Grahm
    Warren Moon

  13. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Apr 3, 2013 4:46 PM

    Smith is employing due diligence in making sure the owners live up to the CBA that they fought so hard to get, locking the players out two years ago.

    Let’s not forget that the owners ADMITTED to collusion in what was supposed to be a cap-free 2011 season.

    I know, that wasn’t as fun to read as a post about DeMaurice Smith wearing hats.

  14. cincyorangenblack says: Apr 3, 2013 4:47 PM

    It’s because the new rookie slotting system for the draft eliminates “team killers”. You can now take a chance on guys like never before w/out having gigantic contracts w/huge sums of gaurenteed $ tied up into them. This makes old cagey vets services not worth as much $ when you can get younger,faster,stronger for much less $. Why risk it on older,slower, faster AND for more $ just to get a “Vet” that no one else wanted.

    Ex: Andre Smith vs Bengals vs Fluker….

  15. onbucky96 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:52 PM

    Yeah. I’m sure the players would “never” stoop so low. How’s that HGH testing coming along?

  16. raideralex99 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:53 PM

    Now that Al Davis is gone no more paying players.

  17. raideralex99 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:53 PM

    Now the Al Davis is gone no more over paying players.

  18. melikefootball says: Apr 3, 2013 4:55 PM

    This year from the lockout has proven the NFL is heading to the ways of MLB. Players want want want and want to do nothing for it. Fans should sue the NFL for poor product on the field.

  19. whatnojets says: Apr 3, 2013 4:55 PM

    I said this months ago……

  20. patfanken says: Apr 3, 2013 4:55 PM

    The NFLPA’s constant whining is giving real unions a bad name. Nothing is ever enough. You can’t force teams to over pay or manage their rosters badly simply because they can yell “COLUSION” and hope it sticks.

    Its like the “union” wants the NFL to resemble the Republican party’s vision for America. A few really rich guys at the top and a lot of minimum wage cheap labor.

    The Union and the agents want about 10 guys making over half the cap space and the rest earning the minumum. Don’t they understand that all those dollars the Pats aren’t paying Brady, go to building a strong middle class. That the Pats will have over 25 players earning 1-5MM, while only 3 earn over $5MM

  21. spartan822 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:57 PM

    If it is collusion I have no problem with that. Player salaries were getting out of control, and still are, and something had to be done to correct that. At the pace they are going, pretty soon the average fan won’t be able to afford to go to games….. oh wait, that already happened.

  22. steelernationisuperiortothelowlyplebsofthenfllolol says: Apr 3, 2013 4:57 PM

    The world without agents and lawyers is a world Steeler Nation envisions.

  23. sparky151 says: Apr 3, 2013 4:59 PM

    Andre Smith is an interesting case. He should be getting some interest from other teams. He played well last year, is quite young, and has upside. If other teams aren’t having him in, the non-collusive explanation would probably be that he and his agent, Ben Dogra, have priced him too high. But if that were the case, the Bengals would have had other veteran RTs in for a visit. It’s not as if the Bengals have a reputation for being eager to overpay. It sure looks like the team is confident Smith has no other options.

  24. steelernationisuperiortothelowlyplebsofthenfllolol says: Apr 3, 2013 5:01 PM

    PLEASE try not to be jealous of our splendor.

  25. si1m says: Apr 3, 2013 5:14 PM

    Let me see: so the owners and team front offices finally realize they shouldn’t be overpaying (generally speaking) for washed up 31 year old players who are looking for last gasp paydays, and the NFLPA assumes there MUST be collusion and directs fact-finding missions for the agents?

    Yeah, or it could be that teams realize QBs are costing them $18-20 million (even postseason bums like Romo) and that they can’t afford to also pay $16 million for Mario Williams to get 5 sacks and otherwise not play well.

    COLLUSION – THEY”RE NOT OVERPAYING US FOR MEDIOCRITY

  26. si1m says: Apr 3, 2013 5:16 PM

    My theory is that Albert Haynesworth, and the 2012 Eagles single-handedly screwed all future Free Agents that want big money for playing just slightly above average for a few games. Get over it. No one’s paying you $6 million a year to catch 30 passes, or get 4 sacks.

  27. arrowdead says: Apr 3, 2013 5:22 PM

    there is probably no collusion this FA period, but certainly the possibility is here for the future so good for the NFLPA

  28. dwoofer says: Apr 3, 2013 5:33 PM

    The free agency period has been anything BUT free of collusion. This is just now dawning on the NFLPA? Whoever heard of any and all free agensts getting one-year contracts for drastically-reduced salaries? Where is the U. S. Attorney’s Anti-Trust squad?

  29. textaz03 says: Apr 3, 2013 5:52 PM

    Don’t blame the Cowboys or Redskins (the 2 biggest spenders), since they have no money to spend due to the imposed fines that D. Smith agreed to with the other 29 teams.

  30. azarkhan says: Apr 3, 2013 7:37 PM

    Of course there is collusion. Otherwise the Redskins and Cowboys would not have been penalized for cutting salaries in a non-cap year.

  31. everybodyholdsorakpo says: Apr 3, 2013 7:59 PM

    Maybe Demaurice needs to have discussions with his players and remind them that behavior like the biggest free agent bust of all time, Fat Albert Haynesworth will end up hurting everyone for years to come. No more big money for lazy rich athletes. Sounds great to me.

  32. judsonjr says: Apr 3, 2013 8:12 PM

    Collusion, good one. Really it’s all of the following:

    #1 – Old guys are not going to be overpaid, they might get an OK deal for 1 year.

    #2 – There is incentive to play, younger unproven guys. Why? If you find a rookie that is a stud, you can get 3 to 5 years of $5M+ in production for ~$1M. When you got the rookie contracts in line, you also made them more valuable.

    #3 – The NFL is becoming a matchup league. It’s no longer about your #1 WR being better then the opponents #1 CB. It’s not 1979 where everyone runs 2 WR sets every down. It’s about your #3,4,5 options being better than the opponents nickle and dime backs.

    #4 – Compensatory picks. If a team is going to get a 3rd or 4th rounder because of a guy leaving, do they really want to break the bank to keep him. Especially with #2 above, these picks have value.

  33. nomoreseasontix says: Apr 3, 2013 8:45 PM

    There’s no collusion. Al Davis isn’t around to set the upper end of the market with his idiotic contracts.

    Common sense and normal market forces have taken over.

    It may sound simplistic, but I think it’s pretty accurate.

  34. grandsonofcoach says: Apr 3, 2013 9:02 PM

    Collusion would require teams to trust each other and to hold off on trying to build their team into a Superbowl competitor thru FA, all in order to sweat out the players and drive the market price down. While, at the same time, teams would be sweating the possibility that one competitor might break ranks and steal a guy they really need by overpaying the price set thru collusion. Highly unlikely.

  35. cliffordc05 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:14 PM

    DeMaurice is pulling all of his misdirection tricks so the players will not realize that the problem is the NFLPA contract. Capped low wage rookie deals were supposed to result in higher free agents deals. Wrong.

    The union projected that the cap would grow substantially in the first two years of the deal. Wrong. They had to juggle the books so it did not decrease last year.

    If they want to spread the money around they will need to cap certain positions as a percentage of the total revenue available for wages.

  36. officialgame says: Apr 3, 2013 9:21 PM

    This is one stupid man. After a lengthy strike he signs off on the most one sided deals in sports labor history. A deal the players must live with for ten long years. Since then Smith has been on the legal I’ll sue you warpath because he knows he screwed up. His big balls strategy hasn’t worked but Smith continues to grasp for straws. The players made a huge mistake not hiring Troy Vincent and are now left suffering with this imbecile.

  37. mcarey032 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:48 PM

    Well he gambled thinking that by penalizing the redskins and cowboys that the money was going to be spread around, but we see is that the skins and cowboys were robbed while other teams did more to dump money and nothing was done. The union gets exactly what it deserves. Lay down with dogs and come up with fleas.

  38. damnyankee13 says: Apr 3, 2013 9:59 PM

    Collusion? what about drug tests? Wasnt that part of the cba??

  39. golewgo2 says: Apr 4, 2013 12:33 AM

    It’s hilarious reading pro-owners posts….because no one wants acknowledge that fans no very little ideal of the inner workings of NFL. You wanted football back and players be damned!!! Well this is your NEW NFL enjoy!

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