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De Smith says 18-game season isn’t his decision

DeMaurice Smith AP

Sean Gilbert, who conducted a media conference call on Tuesday in connection with his plan to pursue the position of NFLPA executive director, wants to achieve a variety of gains for the players.  In return, Gilbert is willing to give the NFL something for which it had stopped asking:  An 18-game regular season.

Appearing that same day (coincidentally, or not) on ESPN’s SportsCenter, De Smith addressed the issue of expanding the regular season.

It’s not my decision to make,” Smith said.  “If someone thinks it’s better for them to play 18 games.  I know that there’s a healthy number of football players now who would say go ahead and do play 18 games.”

Current NFLPA president Eric Winston strongly opposes the idea of expanding the regular season to 18 games.  Few players have argued in favor of adding a pair of games.  Given the current climate of player health and safety, it’s hard to imagine Gilbert’s proposal taking root among the rank and file.

Smith also addressed the fact that he faces an actual challenger for the job, a dynamic that the sitting NFLPA executive director hasn’t confronted in decades.

“I don’t give much thought to people who want this job,” Smith said.  “I have the pleasure of working for the players of the National Football League, the players decide who their leaders will be.  I look forward to March.  I intend to be in this job for as long as the players will have me.”

The issue could be resolved long before March.  The election of the 2014-15 team-by-team player representatives, which will occur in the coming weeks, potentially will result in the eventual winner being determined, if at least 17 of the 32 reps favor one of the candidates.

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15 Responses to “De Smith says 18-game season isn’t his decision”
  1. mnvikingsfan says: Aug 27, 2014 9:19 AM

    GB can’t keep players healthy during the preseason. Imagine the increase in injuries to that team if you added two more “real” games to the season…..

    Wait, what am I saying…..yea, lets go to 18 games!!!

  2. 700levelvet says: Aug 27, 2014 9:22 AM

    The NFLPA is the most toothless organization in labor… The owners know this and will continue to exploit it… Money talks and the league holds all the cards .. Nothing will ever change…

  3. 1967forever says: Aug 27, 2014 9:31 AM

    So let me get this straight: there are two candidates for ED, and neither one is opposed to an 18-game schedule? Sounds like the players should vote “neither.”

  4. Golics Love Child From Philly says: Aug 27, 2014 9:42 AM

    18 games; 3 bye weeks – then only 2 pre season games – let the NFL take us into March Madness!!!! Simple answer!!!!

  5. southpaw2k says: Aug 27, 2014 9:47 AM

    The only way an 18-game schedule would work is if the owners and Goodell added a second bye week in the schedule as well. This would mean pushing the Super Bowl back to the end of February with the current structure of the entire schedule, since the regular season would stretch until late January. The catch here is how the additional three weeks would impact the quality of games in cold weather cities, both in the regular season and the playoffs. This past winter was especially awful in the northeast and midwest, so if teams like the Eagles, Ravens, Patriots, Broncos, Bears, and Packers all had to play through multiple snowstorms in January and February, the players may not enjoy that.

  6. usdcoyotesfan says: Aug 27, 2014 10:04 AM

    Why stop at 18 games? Let’s make it 162 like the MLB so we have NFL every day of the week. Why stop expanding the league at the international level? They should also put teams on other planets so the extraterrestrial life can have their football. They should keep going with that until we have 64 teams. Speaking of which, why stop expanding the playoffs at 14 teams? They should let all 64 teams in like the March Madness. Why stop with all the defensive penalties they have in place? They should allow only 4 defenders on the field at any time and start every game tied at 35 rather than 0, so we can have those high-scoring games. They could also help those high scoring games by moving every team to a dome and making the field shorter. And for player safety, they should make it flag football, while offensive players can hit defensive players however they want. Why stop at changing the Redskins’ name? They should just make every team go by their city name so nothing offends anybody. Don’t forget they also need to get rid of the extra point.

    Oops, did I give Goodell more ideas?

  7. bubbybrisket says: Aug 27, 2014 10:14 AM

    Just remember, Roger CARES about player safety…

  8. chrisk61 says: Aug 27, 2014 10:24 AM

    18 gms would be great for season ticket holders. eliminate 1 gm that has minimal value for which sth’s pay full value. and replace it with a fair value gm.

    the unresolved question though is how an 18 gm sched would affect/fit into existing sched structure.

  9. bigpurple72 says: Aug 27, 2014 10:35 AM

    Best solution: Add 1 additional bye for each team during the season & remove 1 preseason game = 3 pre + 18 weeks (16 games)

    This accomplishes everthing for both sides:
    1) Same calendar length of season
    2) No additional games per team = no complaints about additional injuries
    3) 1 additional week of meaninful NFL games = more $$ for NFL from TV contract
    4) Fans lose home preseason game every other year (2 home/1 away, 1 home/2 away) = less $$ wasted

  10. jbloggs13 says: Aug 27, 2014 10:45 AM

    So what does DeMaurice Smith do for 3MM a year?

    Health and Safety – NO.

    Run the business – does or maybe he doesn’t but revenue is down.

    Run the Pension Fund – does or maybe he doesn’t but it is less than half funded. (De’s deferred comp plan is fully funded – of course.)

    I guess hanging out on Capitol Hill, golfing, and afternoon naps are stressful.

    Gilbert is probably not the right man. The guy who replaces Smith is going to have clean-up two decades of mismanagement and incompetent leadership.

    It would be best if Smith resigned now so the players can find someone competent.

  11. barryehrlich says: Aug 27, 2014 11:06 AM

    Play an 18 game season, but individual players are only allowed to play 16 games, maximum! Expand the rosters to accommodate.

  12. Guy Ledouche says: Aug 27, 2014 12:35 PM

    Why jump from 16 to 18, why not go to 17 first? Most teams and players are opposed to 18 but it’s easier for them to get on board with 17 than 18.

  13. bigjdve says: Aug 27, 2014 12:46 PM

    I am still wondering how he is going to get the owners to agree to collective bargaining again.

    I mean there is a no strike clause in the agreement. So Gilbert says that he can get the owners for collusion other than the capping of a non-cap year, however did DeMo waive any potential claims of collusion? If he did, then anything that Gilbert could bring to the table would be worthless.

    And if he ends the agreement, even the dimmest of the dim players should realize that they are going to get really abused in the resulting CBA.

  14. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Aug 27, 2014 12:52 PM

    This guy is clueless.

  15. GBwomenrhot says: Aug 27, 2014 2:52 PM

    DeSmith is off the charts….literally

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