In September, former NFL player Sean Gilbert announced his intention to run for the position of executive director of the NFL Players Association. He made his case for the job in a book entitled The $29 Million “Tip”.
Gilbert has now given a copy of the book to every player in the NFL.
Per a league source, a copy was left in the locker of each player late in the regular season. While it’s unknown which players are supporting him (Gilbert is the uncle of Bucs cornerback Darrelle Revis), at least one player per team presumably backs the effort; otherwise, the books couldn’t have been distributed to every player of every team.
In his book, Gilbert outlines his concerns with the current labor agreement between the league and the players, proposes an 18-game season in exchange for three years to free agency, and argues that the current CBA could be terminated due to collusion by the league’s owners.
“Football’s a game, the NFL’s a business,” Gilbert wrote by hand in most of the copies of the book given to players.
DeMaurice Smith won the job in 2009. He’ll complete his second three-year term in March 2015. He presumably will run a third time.
“Interesting conversation with my family yesterday. They have thrown their full support behind the Gilbert ’15 campaign so I’m home more,” Smith said on Twitter after Gilbert’s candidacy was announced.
Many league insiders believe Smith, a former lawyer who emerged as the successor to the late Gene Upshaw at a time the players needed a strong litigator, has other career aspirations. Until he declares with certainty his plan to pursue another term, it’s possible that Smith will decide that six years are enough.
If he decides to pursue three more years, he’ll be facing Gilbert next year — and possibly other candidates.