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DeMaurice Smith says expanded playoffs must be negotiated

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Although the NFL’s owners are expected to decide to expand the playoffs to 14 teams starting with the 2015 season, the players’ union says it’s not that simple.

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith told Sal Paolantonio of ESPN that the union’s position is that games can only be added through negotiations with the players.

“If there will be an expansion of the playoffs, there will be a proposal by the National Football League pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement,” Smith said. “That is a change of working conditions. Changes of working conditions must be negotiated with this union. And I haven’t seen a proposal from the National Football League and I know that is a necessary precondition.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seems intent on expanding the playoffs, and he seems to have the support of enough owners to pass a proposal. Once a proposal passes, would the union fight it? The union might express some concerns about the schedule of those additional playoff games, but it’s hard to believe the union would be dead-set against expanding the playoffs, the way the union is dead-set against an expansion to 18 regular-season games. After all, two more playoff games would only affect the players who are on those two additional playoff teams, but it would bring in additional revenue to the entire league, and that additional revenue would result in a higher salary cap and more money for the players on all 32 teams.

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27 Responses to “DeMaurice Smith says expanded playoffs must be negotiated”
  1. campcouch says: May 30, 2014 6:53 AM

    what? the union is just grandstanding. regardless of the CBA,the players are still employees. if corporate wants to add to its business and generate revenue for themselves and the same grumbling employees,so be it. I myself would love some overtime!

  2. raiders4ever says: May 30, 2014 7:10 AM

    the Union is over doing its title now…i can see for questionable fines or suspensions or salary but come on not just Godell and the owners but now the union is putting there 2 cents in as they little by little ruin this sport..if they want to give the ok for more playoff teams then did they give the ok for all the new rules like the phantom late hit or phantom hitting a defensless receiver…lots of these rules caused fines why didnt the union say dont change the rules as far as that goes..hitting the QB late is one thing but doing your job legally should not be a penalty or fine…

  3. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: May 30, 2014 7:14 AM

    Two more playoff games affecting “only” the players of those two teams is still a change in working conditions. I hope you aren’t suggesting the proposal just be passed through because it only affects two teams. That mindset is exactly why a union is needed in the first place.

  4. dfwhawkguy says: May 30, 2014 7:19 AM

    Can we please offset by killing 2 of the completely useless and uninspring preseason games while we’re at it? Of course not. Because I’m stupid enough to continue paying full price for the tickets as part of my season ticket package. *sigh*

  5. eagleswin says: May 30, 2014 7:21 AM

    Maurice would argue that the players need to be paid more to wear uniforms and pads in addition to their signed contracts if anyone would listen to him.

    His job could be done by a simple computer program.

    1. NFL announces something

    2. If it is a new initiative then announce that the NFLPA has to sign off on it (blanket statement).
    3. If it is a punishment then announce the NFLPA doesn’t agree with it and that the NFL has to much power that the NFLPA must take away.

    rinse .. repeat

  6. sterling7 says: May 30, 2014 7:25 AM

    How about “no expanded playoffs”- signed ALL the NFL fans!!!

  7. snakeiz says: May 30, 2014 7:36 AM

    Way to put your foot down Mr.Smith..When Rog hears
    this you can bet his 1st move will b to call u
    and schedule a negotiation session… After he’s
    laughing of course…

  8. DitkasHair says: May 30, 2014 7:37 AM

    Smith is still around? Is he at all relevant? Very surprising after he screwed-the-pooch on the last players Contract…

  9. celticsforever says: May 30, 2014 7:37 AM

    With the first week byes eliminated, and the prospect of 11-5 teams travelling to play a road game against 7-9 teams, you will see more and more teams “tank” in the final couple weeks. Not to drop, but if their berth is assured then who cares about division titles? Make your week 16 & 17 games your bye weeks. Oh, and screw godell.

  10. exboomer says: May 30, 2014 7:42 AM

    Of course the owners will water down what the playoffs mean for the sake of a few extra dollars. They don’t really care about the integrity of the game, they only care about how much they make. What’s next, 2 Super Bowls?

  11. jjb0811 says: May 30, 2014 7:44 AM

    Goodell mindset of ruining the game is right on track.
    -Expanding to markets that don’t care (London & Toronto) about the sport,
    -Diluting the playoffs,
    -Pissing off the players by making up fake stories (Saints bounty)
    -Not caring that owners get wasted & drive.
    -Making sure defenders can’t play only offense.
    -Having no guidelines to follow for fining players, just do it on a whim

    What a list he’s compiled over his tenure.

  12. ytownjoe says: May 30, 2014 7:44 AM

    Nothing complicated here. Goodell tells Smith that the NFL will add a couple of playoff games. Smith says, “Let’s talk.”

    Goodell asks, “what do you guys want?”

    Smith says, “Let’s talk.”

    Goodell says, “OK, come to New York next week.”

    “I’ll be there,” Smith says.

  13. motobus says: May 30, 2014 8:10 AM

    Of course they would be against it. If they believe it must be negotiated, and it is something that the owners are unilaterally in support if, then they can use it as leverage to get something they want (eg. neutral arbitrator for HGH appeals)

  14. fissels says: May 30, 2014 8:10 AM

    Whether he’s legally right shouldn’t matter. The league should want the players’ support before going forward.

  15. kingmj4891 says: May 30, 2014 8:20 AM

    DeMaurice Smith needs to go away horrible for the players and the league only trying to advance his own agenda.

  16. pftfannum1 says: May 30, 2014 8:21 AM

    Name one player who doesn’t want to be in the play-off?

  17. abninf says: May 30, 2014 8:22 AM

    I suppose he considers testing for illegal HGH is a change in working conditions. A change he obviously doesn’t want despite his words. No respect for unions.

  18. isphet71 says: May 30, 2014 8:22 AM

    And also trigger individual player pay bonuses for making the playoffs in some cases. The “negotiation” is just a formality.

    He’s just trying to make up for getting taken to the woodshed by the owners in the last CBA.

  19. thefirstsmilergrogan says: May 30, 2014 8:25 AM

    judging from the cap movement in light of the tv deals, two games will not move the cap enough for players to allow the league to bypass the process.

  20. lpd1964 says: May 30, 2014 8:42 AM

    I read all of the comments about expanded playoffs, seems the fans are against it, so when does the NFL listen to those who make the game popular ? The league has a good thing, how much money does this cash cow need ? Bad idea, No ????

  21. bobzilla1001 says: May 30, 2014 9:07 AM

    A recent poll conducted by NFLN showed that NFL fans allegedly favored playoff expansion by an overwhelming 63 percent to 37 percent. With this kind of propaganda, it’s no wonder Goodell is set on watering down a postseason tournament that’s already been watered down for years.

  22. phinmaster says: May 30, 2014 9:24 AM

    As a Dolphin fan who’s team has made the playoffs only once in the last 12 years, I am totally against expanding. They are trying to make it easy on incompetent coaches and GMs to get to the postseason through the back door. No, no, no.

  23. kissmytaintpatriotsrule says: May 30, 2014 9:50 AM

    Typical union posturing. NFLPA, won’t agree to anything until the league folds on having Goodell act as judge and jury on a PED violations.

  24. firstclasspack says: May 30, 2014 10:32 AM

    There is absolutely no reason the players and the NFLPA would be against two extra teams making the playoffs. It means two extra games which translates to more TV money, more ticket sales, and more concessions at the games and ultimately the players get 50% of that money. Not to mention it gives 106 of those players a shot at a Super Bowl that they wouldn’t have had.

    The NFLPA is simply trying to use the owners greed to get something they want for free because I’m betting they want the expanded playoffs also.

  25. deadeye says: May 30, 2014 10:34 AM

    What are they going to do, strike over two extra playoff games?

    De Smith is a clown.

  26. jayblack073 says: May 30, 2014 10:35 AM

    No, no, no. We need a best 2 of 3 Super Bowl, that would be awesome. Or like European football, do aggregate score in 2 games one home one away.

  27. ballergac says: May 30, 2014 11:39 AM

    Negotiate? How’s that HGH testing going??? Something agreed to in the CBA but the union still playing games. I’m tired of this guy.

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