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NFLPA fires playoff expansion warning shot over workers comp

DeMaurice-Smith Getty Images

As NFL owners gather in Atlanta to discuss among other things playoff expansion, the head of the players union is doing some quality saber rattling.

NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Tom Pelissero of USA Today that the union was prepared to strike back as a fight over workers compensation liners in Louisiana.

“The players have not seen a press release from the NFL indicating that they were going to take up the issue of better workers compensation benefits or increased injury protection benefits in light of their desire for extra playoff games,” Smith said. “A credible commitment to player health and safety has to include more than a group of Owners voting to recommend playing more games.”

If nothing else, it’s less subtle than coughing into your hand and saying “Over here, fellas,” and Smith pointed out that the union would have to sign off on anything owners might approve this week.

“Player leadership has consistently made it clear that we do not consider any issue, let alone issues that affect player health and safety, in a vacuum,” Smith said. “We have seen the NFL Owners and the League support rollbacks in injury care benefits and loss wage benefits in Louisiana, California and Arizona.

“Their inability to address and resolve these issues among various clubs means that players suffer disparate treatment in a League that disciplines to maintain uniformity. Most recently, the Saints introduced a bill aimed at only professional athletes to reduce players’ workers compensation benefits.”

It’s a good reminder for the owners as they figure out a way to carve up a growing revenue pie, in order to make sure a big enough slice gets passed down to the work force to keep them happy.

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9 Responses to “NFLPA fires playoff expansion warning shot over workers comp”
  1. 8to80texansblog says: May 19, 2014 4:14 PM

    Give the players an extra bye week. They get an extra week during the season to heal and recover and the NFL gets an extra week of games to sell to CBS/FOX/NBC/ESPN.

    Win/Win

  2. shatho1 says: May 19, 2014 4:39 PM

    how about just bring in two new teams to the league so there will be 34 and the two playoff games will still make the regular season worth it or….just leave it the way it is

  3. allidoiswin55 says: May 19, 2014 4:44 PM

    I know 7 nfl players and every single one of them hates this idea, almost as much as they hate the 18 game season idea . Players dislike goddell for his fake concern with player safety by adding more games bc they make more money .I’m not sure but the players get paid the same just less per game if they extend the regular season and they get a flat rate for playoffs exception being SB champion .

  4. jwired21 says: May 19, 2014 5:08 PM

    The goal of every player is / should be to win a championship. Why would you fight to take away the chance for players to have another opportunity to accomplish that?

  5. sensiblecentrists says: May 19, 2014 5:24 PM

    allidoiswin55 says:
    May 19, 2014 4:44 PM
    I know 7 nfl players and every single one of them hates this idea, almost as much as they hate the 18 game season idea . Players dislike goddell for his fake concern with player safety by adding more games bc they make more money .I’m not sure but the players get paid the same just less per game if they extend the regular season and they get a flat rate for playoffs exception being SB champion .
    ————-
    Salary Cap is determined as a percentage of league revenue, per the CBA. Adding more games increases revenue. Increased revenue means higher salary cap and therefore higher player salaries.

  6. abninf says: May 19, 2014 6:16 PM

    HGH, DeMaurice. HGH.

  7. ytownjoe says: May 19, 2014 7:08 PM

    If Louisiana changes it’s Workers’ Comp law to the detriment of Saints players, I’m sure many of them will be eager to test free agency.
    NFL players are in a profession where on the job injury is a near certainty.

  8. uberniner says: May 19, 2014 7:51 PM

    If you asked the players on the two added teams if they want to join the playoffs, they would say yes to a chance to be in the big show…. Duh!

    Or, am I on another planet?

  9. allidoiswin55 says: May 19, 2014 10:09 PM

    That’s for those who sign (new contracts ) I’m pretty sure ! I understand the increase salary cap equates to more money long term what about every single played signed now They would have to allow them to negotiate a new deal ! That’s seems pretty unfair to players short term financially !

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