The new issue of SportsBusiness Journal includes short articles about each of the four finalists for the position of Executive Director of the NFLPA.
They are Trace Armstrong, David Cornwell, DeMaurice Smith, and Troy Vincent.
The only two who have offered up for general consumption a glimpse of their specific plans for the future of the union are Cornwell and Smith.
Cornwell has gone much farther than a glimpse, setting forth his positions on his law firm’s web site.
Smith shared with SBJ information regarding the 100-page business plan that he prepared for the NFLPA Executive Committee, with input from 15 advisers.
The real question, as we see it, is whether the players are willing to embrace a leader who never played pro football.  If they are, then Cornwell or Smith could emerge as the next Executive Director — especially since Armstrong and Vincent might cancel each other out.


  1. No offense Florio but the lawyers (Berthelsen, Kessler, Yablonski) have shown their donkeys. So who would want a lawyer to lead them?
    Elinating the lawyers brings us back to Armstrong and Vincent. In Hawaii, the lawyers confront Vincent with the 1,000 documents and advise him to surrender his bid. Vincent ignores threat, wins the election and fires – Berthelsen, Kessler and Yablonski. So there!@#
    By the way, the 1st report by named Terri Upshaw as the one who found the file on Vincent, now SBJ claims that someone else (sounds Moranish) found the files and that there are over 1,000 other documents.
    “I knew he had information [about Vincent], because I requested a while ago to be able to get into his office and collect his things,” Terri Upshaw said. “I came across this file, and I turned it over to the NFLPA. He wasn’t home strategizing with me what his plan was, but I think he was talking with his confidants and his people about how to go about the whole process of how to address and take care of some of these issues. I know in the summer Gene was having discussions with some people about these matters. I knew what it was about, even though I wasn’t privy to the details. He wanted things to be fair and to be conducted the right way. Gene had a lot of close confidants and they know what he was going to do and what he wanted to do with that information.”
    SBJ reports: “Shortly before his death, Upshaw discovered a Vincent e-mail to his partner that spawned the investigation, as well as more than 1,000 other documents in his own investigation of the former player president. Yablonski did not comment on whether he is examining the other documents in Upshaw’s file, which was found by someone recently cleaning out Upshaw’s office at the request of his widow, Terri.”
    Did anyone go into the late Upshaw’s office from August ’08 – February ’09? Why not? What other business was neglected?

  2. What an idiot. I think it’s pretty safe to say Jags’ GM Gene Smith will be doing some Heavy Scouting on Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin for the #8 overall pick…

  3. The head of the teamsters isn’t a truck driver, and the head of the U.A.W. is not a factory worker. If being a football player is a prerequisite for being the director of the NFLPA, then then the players deserve to get screwed.

  4. David Cornwell is using Hillary Clinton’s “Ready On Day 1” slogan on his website. Oy. There go his chances.
    Additionally, no one wants to see lawyers win, so watch out for the couple NFL players, probably Troy Vincent. Though, I won’t be surprised if they split the vote and it goes to one of the others — kind of like how Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney had more support in general from supporters than McCain, but they split they GOP vote (Huckabee the religious right, Romney the business folks) and McCain emerged.
    Oh Yeah. Wooohooo Obama is Prez, and the Republicans are irrelevant except for now apparently being the party of no.

  5. The best person for the job should be hired. PERIOD. Player, non-player, it doesn’t matter. There is work to be done.
    I think most of the player reps get that, even if not all of the commenters do.
    Now, on the canidates, Smith is “intriging”, like Mort said on Mike&Mike. Wonder what’s in the plan of his, but I sure hope the reps read it.
    Best of luck to the MEN to make the right decision.

  6. Florio, thanks for the updates on the candidates platforms. Wolf Blitzer has nothing on you. Someone might want to check out Cornwellian’s facts…..he personally earned a trading card company $300 million per year….and managed 600 employees??? What do lawyers call it when someone stretches the truth?

  7. Jeezus, we’ll all be talking about this with Upshaw in the afterlife by the time this is resolved. Get on with it and let the players f’ing vote!

  8. What’s wrong with being an ex-player? We got ex-players who are doctors, lawyers, business owners, even team owners. When Mike and his buddy did the video, they said the next ED should be “smart, experienced, know how to delegate, make good decisions, and be tough.” I agree. And the best of the four candidates using those criteria is Trace Armstrong. He has run a very successful sports equipment and accessory business that does $10 mil a year in sales so he knows finance, hiring and firing, negotiating, and marketing. He got his MBA after the NFL. He is a very successful agent for the biggest agency in the world, repping coaches and broadcasters. So he negotiates with NFL team owners and network execs every day. His teammates elected him rep, and then the reps elected him to the Exec. Committee and President. And he doesn’t come with any baggage. What more do we want? I just don’t see anybody better.

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