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NFLPA facing major leadership overhaul

Smith Getty Images

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith remains under contract for another year.  But plenty of other key union leaders will be replaced this year, because those spots are held by players who no longer play.

President Domonique Foxworth, who retired as a player just a few months after winning the position, will exit the position.  As pointed out by Tom Pelissero of USA Today, six of the other 11 spots on the Executive Committee also will be up for grabs at next month’s NFLPA meeting, due to player retirements.

Out will be Charlie Batch, Brian Dawkins, Scott Fujita, Matt Light, Brandon Moore, and Jeff Saturday.  Brian Waters also could be giving up his spot, if he chooses to retire from the NFL before then.

Only three players are locks to return:  Drew Brees, Matthew Hasselbeck, and Ben Watson.

“That’ll be one of the largest turnovers in the history of our league,” Smith told Pelissero.  “The challenge, frankly, for our young players and our young reps will be for them to find leaders to fill the shoes of guys like Brian Dawkins, to step into leadership roles like Domonique Foxworth, to be not only great superstars like Jeff Saturday, but leaders that are going to have a heart to fight for what’s right for players to come.”

The newly-reconfigured Executive Committee will have a major influence over whether Smith is retained in 2015, when his current contract expires.  Former player Sean Gilbert already has expressed an intention to run for the job; he was working the media center last week in New York, shaking (and unintentionally crushing) hands and talking about his views for the future of the union.

Smith has the built-in advantage of recruiting new Executive Committee members who will be favorable to him in 2015, but those new appointees (as elected by the individual team representatives) will inevitably be lobbied by Gilbert and any other interested candidates.

The pool of challengers to Smith could include Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, who recently tiptoed around rumors that he’ll be running for executive director during a visit to Pro Football Talk on NBCSN.

“Even a player or two asked me about that during the Super Bowl,” Brooks said.  “You know, if it comes to fruition, I’ll explore it, if it’s something that gets really serious but right now [I'm] just trying to be the best president G.M. of the Tampa Bay Storm at this particular moment.  So for the immediate future that’s what I’m doing and if that door opens up down the line I’ll see if that’s something that’s worth exploring.”

(Yep.  He’s interested.)

Before Brooks can throw his bronzed hat into the ring, the NFLPA will elect the men who’ll serve as the leadership of the NFLPA through and beyond the moment at which Smith’s job goes up for a vote.  While there’s currently a sense that the players intend to stick with Smith, Gilbert and Brooks and anyone else who chooses to run has a full year to rouse the rabble.

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20 Responses to “NFLPA facing major leadership overhaul”
  1. ravenmuscle says: Feb 7, 2014 1:27 PM

    How about Jay Leno…..he’s out of a job.

  2. clownsfan says: Feb 7, 2014 1:36 PM

    Can you imagine sitting in those meetings and having to listen to Brees? You know that clown loves to hear himself talk. Oye!

  3. imbetteratlifethanyou says: Feb 7, 2014 1:37 PM

    1st line of business – approve the move of the vikings to the CFL. They don’t belong in the NFL and the Union shouldn’t have to support those clowns.

  4. therealraider says: Feb 7, 2014 1:43 PM

    Considering they got taken to the woodshed in the last CBA negotiations, You would think D Smith would be fired immediately.

  5. ez4u2sa says: Feb 7, 2014 1:54 PM

    I hope the new leadership will be as concerned about protecting the game as they are protecting the players. Preseason games are needed to evaluate players and prepare for games that count. Cutting back on practices, especially padded practices, has had a negative impact on preparing the players. The increase in injuries proves the point.

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 7, 2014 1:57 PM

    Mo Smith turned ashen for a moment. He thought he heard “leadership overalls”.

    “I’d beg on the street before I wear overalls…”.

  7. httr73 says: Feb 7, 2014 1:59 PM

    Jeff Saturday should be the Executive Director of the NFLPA. He was one of the few sane voices during the last lock out.

  8. rowdystiller says: Feb 7, 2014 2:06 PM

    The sooner DeMaurice Smith is out the better. That two-bit hustling pimp has never been about anything except lining his own pockets. The CBA he stuck the players with under his watch is garbage.

  9. cuda1234 says: Feb 7, 2014 2:18 PM

    Please, no, Derrick Brooks. You’ve got to know that entering politics will make half the people hate you and you can do better than that!

  10. chillyball says: Feb 7, 2014 2:36 PM

    How about Hinkle McKrinkleberry or the Player Formally Known As Mousecop?

  11. willycents says: Feb 7, 2014 2:44 PM

    De Smith will pack the board with “yess men” so he can keep screwing the players over like last time

  12. jwcarlson says: Feb 7, 2014 2:53 PM

    What leadership?

  13. ianwetpantscom says: Feb 7, 2014 3:20 PM

    If, and I mean if, D. Brooks takes over, he’ll be in the owners pocket, jut like Goodell!

    #justsay’n

  14. natevidlak says: Feb 7, 2014 3:29 PM

    Jeff Saturday. Right. How long till the tea party claims him. Dopes

  15. cuda1234 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:15 PM

    I just hope the “diversity” police are watching this. Sounds like the entire leadership group is one color and we all know that’s not allowed.

  16. xinellum says: Feb 7, 2014 5:20 PM

    How you play on the field should have nothing to do with it. Foxworth has proven, with his pro bowl modifications and work during the lockout that he deserves the spot.

  17. kash71 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:28 PM

    I know he no longer plays the game but wouldn’t you want people like Charlie Batch in a leadership role?

  18. onbucky96 says: Feb 7, 2014 5:48 PM

    Sean Gilbert’s vision of the NFLPA: holdout, holdout, strike, and holdout some more. This guy was a turd during contract time, no wonder he couldn’t stay in one place.

  19. elliottcovert says: Feb 7, 2014 10:15 PM

    Derrick Brooks will be great if the NFLPA plans on running a Tampa 2.

  20. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Feb 8, 2014 9:38 AM

    The players come off looking like stereotypical football dummy meatheads keeping this guy as their lead rep…..

    Don’t they know they got left for bait after the the last CBA was said & done?? Owners totally dominated & pile drove them into submission like a Eli Manning sack…..

    Wake up!!!

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