DeMaurice Smith calls NFL offer “worst deal in the history of sports”

We haven’t heard a lot from NFLPA* chief DeMaurice Smith since the work stoppage began.  Until now.

Smith joined Mike Francesa on WFAN Thursday for a long interview that focused on crunching numbers and mostly stayed away from over-the-top rhetoric.


“The NFL publicly projected by 2027, they want to have revenue numbers of approximately $25 billion,” Smith said.  “If we would have taken the worst deal in the history of sports, by the time they are making $25 billion off the backs, fingers, and legs of our players, our share of all revenue would be somewhere around 25%.

“My simple question to you as a fan of this sport for a long time: Does that sound fair?”

There are a lot of players from the 60’s and 70’s that would probably disagree with the notion the latest offer was from the worst in the history of sports.  The enormous gains that those players achieved are enjoyed by every player working today.

Smith’s point was centered around the notion that the player’s share of all revenue would decline under the NFL’s last offer.

“We believe that it should be a fair split between owners and players of all revenue,” Smith said.  “50-50.  That’s the way it’s been since 1989.  What’s wrong with a 50-50 split?”

Smith contends that the players were essentially willing to take a step back in compensation in this agreement.

“I gave them two offers, where from an economic standpoint, someone could say the players of the NFL are going backwards.  And they said no,” Smith said.

Smith didn’t directly dispute the numbers Eagles president Joe Banner gave out Wednesday.  Instead, he focused on the percentage players would get in a new deal.

According to Smith, the players would only get 44% of all revenue initially in the NFL’s offer.  He says that once you got to year six of the next deal, it would be down to 40%.

Honestly, we don’t have the financial wherewithal to fully investigate those percentages. Neither do fans.  We do know that fans would appreciate some perspective instead of comparing an NFL job to slavery or calling the latest CBA offer the worst in pro sports history.

Thankfully, Smith did give some perspective that’s worth keeping in mind towards the end of the interview.  He noted that past NFL-NFLPA legal battles have generally resulted in collective bargaining agreements that have helped grow the game.

That agreement cannot get here fast enough.

71 responses to “DeMaurice Smith calls NFL offer “worst deal in the history of sports”

  1. Look the NFL should just bring the hammer down on the NFLPA. Make NFLPA eat a bad deal.

  2. and what deal did the NFLPA propose..? I believe they looked at the deal and walked away like a lil kid taking his b-ball from the kids at the park.

    Also, i don’t think the leagues deal was a 17 year proposal so what happens in 2027 is kind of irrelevant!

  3. Since the owners are the owners… I think it makes sense that they get a slightly larger piece of the pie. Isn’t that really the point of ownership?

  4. sorry but i just cant find myself to feel sorry for a bunch of millionairs who play a game and get to retire at age 40.

    yes the owners make more money, they own the buisness they are sappose to make more then the employees.

  5. I’m done reading those lockout articles, the next time I click on an NFL article of any kind is after the draft to see who got what

  6. DeMohammed Smith, or “Minnesota Maurice” as he is affectionately known, has to go all the way back to his days working as the Iraqi Information Minister to recall a worse set of surrender terms.

  7. “He noted that past NFL-NFLPA legal battles have generally resulted in collective bargaining agreements that have helped grow the game.” Yes, but he was involved in none of those. In fact, no non-player lawyering NFLPA Executive Director was, either.

  8. “The NFL publicly projected by 2027, they want to have revenue numbers of approximately $25 billion”


    I’m projecting that I WANT TO HAVE a bazillion dollars by Tuesday of next week. Can I get a loan based on my future personal value??

  9. Excuse my math, but didn’t the NFL initially want to take $2 billion off the top, then give the players 59.6% of what’s left? If the pot grows to $25 billion, wouldn’t the players get 59.6% of $23 billion? Where does he get 25%? (And why would he sign a CBA that lasts until 2027?)

  10. I’m tired of De Smith’s rhetoric. He paints it as if the players are getting ripped off. They’re not.

    Exaggerations rarely earn support.

  11. If Smith and the players want to share the profits. Maybe they should offer to share the expenses as well. Fourty percent of the profit is pretty darn good.

  12. Wow, screw you De. This is just ridiculous. If you and your constituents really feel this way, the feel free to picket games while scabs, who are happy to play and get paid, take your place.

  13. This is what happens when ambulance chasers who contribute nothing to society are thrust into positions of power: rhetoric, grandstanding, and hyperbole.

  14. Both sides should stop the rhetoric and posturing.

    DeMaurice Smith – take off that ridiculous hat, get serious, do a deal and quit worrying about positioning yourself for a future in politics.

    Jerry Jones – stop pounding your fists and talking down to the players.

  15. Whats wrong with a 50/50 split you ask……..

    I’ll tell you: The owners take a majority of the risk. When all you players want to start buying teams; building billion dollar stadiums; striking marketing deals; negotiating multi-billion dollar TV contracts, etc, etc, etc….

    Then and only then do you deserve more than 50%. Until then, do what your very hansomly paid to do!

  16. I think the players should get the best deal possible. I also think they should then be required to ante up 50/50 on stadium improvements, new construction, ancillary improvements, infrastructure, legal expenses, lease issues, collections from luxury suite stiffs, and all other costs related to the development, promotion, and well-being of their sport. When the operating costs of a team go up from one year to the next, the compensation for all players of that particular team gets reduced by an equalizing percentage.

  17. If the NFL wanted to sink the NFLPA*’s credibility, all they have to do is give these guys airtime…total implosion. Nothing they say sounds legit and everything the players say sounds moronic.

  18. I have had it with the endless BS. Demo’ is a friggen moron. The only thing he is getting done is stroking his own ego.

    Get your butt back to the table.

  19. I know others will put me in my place, but I am trying to imagine corporate America where the workers want 50% of corporate earnings. They, the workers, make it all happen, but it is the owners and top level employees of the company who make most of the dough (off the hard work of the average schmoe). Salaries and benefits are obviously the top expense item, but when Exxon, for example, reports huge profits, are the worker bees the ones who rake it all in? Maybe I should have taken Econ101. Stupid humanities degree.

  20. Why does the union want 50% of the revenue but they don’t want to split the operating costs? I’m sure the owners would jump at a true 50/50 split.

    The players want the best of both worlds. They want to be compensated like full partners but they don’t want to take on the operating costs.

    That’s exactly how my 4 year old thinks. He’s always eager to play with his toys but he’s not very interested in putting them away when he’s done.

    The rich arrogant parents /spoiled entitled children analogy is a very good one.

  21. Dee Mo Reeees, everyone can see through your BS. This isn’t about whats best for the players, definitely not what’s best for the fans, but rather how can you stay in the spotlight longer. I have a feeling he thinks this is more of him against “THE MAN”, So he is not trying to compromise anything to get a deal done, or else he thinks he will be a sell out or uncle tom. I’d be willing to bet, the NFLPA would not have this guy representing them if the had a chance to do it over again. Let the Soap Opera continue! What a joke!

  22. If the owners were not profitable they would not be able to give away an NFL franchise. Unlike the NBA where the New Orleans Hornets are league operated and the NHL with the Phoenix Coyotes are in the same predicament, why are there not more teams for sale?

    Because the owners are making $$$$$$ hand over fist and instead of sharing it with the players they want to claw their share back. If teams are not profitable open the books. The game has never been in better shape and yet the owners want to add more games and scrape another few billion off the top.

  23. I am sure all employees would love a 50/50 split with the owner of their workplace. Too bad the employees don’t have to invest anything and take the risks to make things happen. Showing up and getting paid for your time is not an investment or a risk. These guys are idiots.

  24. Dee Smith and his gang dont give one damn about the players. If they did the NFLPA wouldnt be in Court they would be at the table working this out. What Dee Smith cares about is Dee Smith. His goal–become the Marvin Miller of Football. Ruin the game as we know it.

  25. Excuse me, Mr Smith, while I point something out to you–since 1989, players HAVE NOT recieved 50% of ALL revenue–they have recieved an average of 54.6% of FOOTBALL revenue. YOU want them to have 50% of ALL revenue–which is what owners get from sponsors, stadium rights, their own radio deals, etc. Quite a difference from FOOTBALL revenue only, which is merchandise sales, ticekt sales, and TV revenue.

  26. Wonder how many players see the fact that this Smith could be the reason no deal has been made? Ask any owner how he would be if a union rep came into there business and say this is how it will be. Doesn’t seem to work. The old addage the owners would not have a business if they did not have the workers does not fly. Lets ask how many of these young players would jump the old union line to play in the NFL. Many, many, many!

  27. You players sure did pick a winner in DeMoron Smith. The owners are willing to continue negotiations but the players will not. They are going to hope Daddy Obama comes to their rescue with a ruling in their favor. Better hope that happens it’s a big gamble. In case you players can’t figure it out here it is….. THE OWNERS ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT AGREE TO ANOTHER BAD LABOR DEAL LIKE THEY DID IN 2006. Further more, even if the owners lose in court, don’t think for one minute it will be business as usual. They will blow up the league before they let the players take it over NBA style.

  28. I`m confused…did the players walk away from a deal because it was the worst deal offered in history ( even worse than the deal the slaves got,( free food and a roof) or was it because Jerry flexed his muscles?

  29. Since the owners are the owners… I think it makes sense that they get a slightly larger piece of the pie. Isn’t that really the point of ownership?


    What this poster said, times a million.

    Owners should be entitled to more than 50%; that’s why they are the owners and not employees.

  30. What time are real NFL football fans allowed to start posting their opinions? This thread is filled with paid corporate shills and trolls. Either that, or these are the least intellectually curious fans in the history of sports.


    Yours is the least intelligent post here. Congrats!

  31. “My simple question to you as a fan of this sport for a long time: Does that sound fair?”

    Answer: Ahhh, yes.

  32. Sounds like D Smith is being a little (ok, a LOT!) over dramatic. Sounds like a teenage girl calling her ex the WORST boyfriend in the world.

  33. I was always taught that there are two types of people that you should never put in charge. Lawyers and preachers. Demaurice Smith is helping to prove the reasons why.

  34. This guy has 0 labor negotiation experience. But he does have prosecutorial, trial and litigation experience. When the players hired him, they knew where they wanted this to go and what they were getting.

  35. Why is anyone talking to him ? The union has decertified….therefore, they need no union head and he has no say in what happens. You no longer represent the players. DeMaurice, you can go now.

  36. I say go with the 50/50 split..and then charge the players to play in the stadiums. Players get their 50/50 split and the owners can get their 2 billion back. Problem solved…next

  37. DeMaurice Smith is a true and total fool if he thinks people would swallow that garbage.

    There’s no way the NFL’s offer could be the worst deal in the history of sports. That honor belongs to the deal the Oakland Raiders gave JaMarcus Russell.

  38. “What’s wrong with a 50-50 split?”

    A lot. Owners take a much greater financial risk, which is why they make the most money.

    Simple business, but clearly DeMaurice can’t figure that out.

  39. They share none of the expenses but want 50% of the earnings. Doesn’t compute. Do movie stars get half the money a movie makes? Hell no. They get something like 2% & then maybe 3% of the DVD sales & that makes them hundreds of millions. They don’t have any of the expenses though, just like the players. 40% for just catching a ball 1 day a week for only 16 weeks & you want more!? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you.

    Greedy ass players. Didn’t they learn anything from the strike in 87 where players ended up crossing the picket lines. Fans cheer for the uniform & the team. Not the players. If the players held that much pull then for example when Aikman & Smith retired then the Cowboys fans would just quit cheering for them. Nope because they can always find another star.

    Dumb ass players don’t realize this.

    DeMaurice Smith. The idiot who destroyed football.

  40. jeez. how many conservative-minded people comment here? all of them? i’m all for the players, whom we all tune in to see, getting all they can from ‘owners’ born with a silver spoon in their holes. they don’t own the league. they don’t own the players. they don’t own us. packers fan here.=publicly owned team.

  41. All this talk of partners is growing old

    When tickets dont sell do the players give back money no

    The owners take the risk the owners build the stadiums the owners pay the help

    The roof caved in in MN are the players paying for half the repairs?

    When something breaks who pays the owner or the partner / player?

    When the Mara/Tish / Johnson built the new Meadowlands did the players kick in half the cash ?

    Yes a player can get injured and end his playing but that is why you buy one less car and take an insurance policy out on your ass

    NO NO NO your not partners your the hired help
    Get back to work do the only thing you can that will make you real money and STFU

    Gene Upshaw is rolling over in his grave over Dsmiths follies

  42. and capo gino was a crook for letting his agent tom condon onto the retirees compensation board…

    but gino would keep talkin, i agree.

    this was coming the second they picked duh.

    as are some oakley-ewing moments.

  43. no, the deal u end up capitulating on shortly will be the worst deal u ever took part in for a client, and probly the last one.

  44. What organizations employees demand and get 50% of revenues? I say screw that, at best the split should be 60-40, and that is the best I would ever do, that is being overly gracious. There is no way that the players should get a 50% share of revenues. I would say they deserve 35%

  45. Owners take no risks. Unless say Nick Cage or Evander Holyfield decided to buy a team owners always make money. Frequently owners force municipalities to pay for the stadium to keep the team. So they aren’t even footing the bill for a place to play. Not to mention football stadiums host dozens of major events a year that pay very profitable sums. These guys are masters of hostage taking.
    Players assume all the risk. They take enormous amounts of physical damage essentially getting into a car wreck several times on Sunday, risk serious brain damage, and generally die much sooner than average men. Most don’t play more than a few years and don’t have giant paydays like the superstars. The superstars earn their money. Are they worth it? Since we are all unethical capitalists they earn what the market will bear or what they are valued at for what they produce. They have as much right to the income as the owner who made his money through cut -throat capitalism too.

  46. What organizations employees demand and get 50% of revenues? I say screw that, at best the split should be 60-40, and that is the best I would ever do, that is being overly gracious. There is no way that the players should get a 50% share of revenues. I would say they deserve 35%

    crap I meant 45% max

  47. I have instructed my broker to move me, heavily, into tar and feathers futures.
    When the players finally realize they have been played by De(tritus) Smith for his next big DC litigation partner gig I am going to make a killing!
    The opt-in price is rising, fellows! Get in now!

  48. And to think I got hammered early in this situation by siding with the owners and comparing De Smith to Gollum from the Rings Trilogy…..

    This guy is making me look smarter every day. That ain’t easy. Ask my wife.

  49. Why the hell am I hearing anything from this guy? Since the union decertified, screw this guy, he shouldn’t have anything to do with anything.

  50. The players need the NFL WAAAAAY more than the NFL needs the players. Without the NFL, I doubt that ANY player is making anything near what they make playing in the NFL. And without these players, there would be some other players, and new stars would emerge. The players should kiss the NFL owners feet for creating an enterprise that allows all of their families to enjoy such a high standard of living.

  51. “That agreement cannot get here fast enough.” I half-hearted agree, because I think it’s an understatement. “…Cannot get here fast enough.” should be, “…Should be reached tomorrow.”

  52. He’s wrong.

    The Herschel Walker trade between Dallas and the Vikings is the worst deal in the history of sports.. if you’re a Minnesota fan.

  53. Idiotic hyperbole like this from the head of the player’s union (coupled with stupid comments like the slavery baloney) make it impossible for the players to have any credibility in complaining about the owners. The owners risk their capital in running the business and I don’t understand why it is unreasonable for them to take a larger slice of the pie. If the players don’t like it, maybe they should use their own money, take out some loans, and try to run their own league and see how that works out for them.

  54. The players are the best in the world at what they do right now.

    But in 5 years they won’t be.

    The NFL and the teams will still be there.

  55. IS
    68 CENTS
    I say any fans who go to the draft or the NFLPA*s version of it should all in unison shout, “LAUNDRY…LAUNDRY…LAUNDRY”…because that is what real true fans of their teams root for…not exclusively individual players. There have been many players for my team that I have loved watching and respected as people and had affection for; however, when they don’t play for my team anymore I may be angry (if they are cut) or sad…but I root for the LAUNDRY.

  56. Just make sure both sides take care of the bench warmers!! They work just as hard as the elite players!!!!

  57. The players first mistake is to get Smith to represent them. When you wears that stupid hat , he looks like ” Huggy Bear” from the 70″s. He also looks like he was bashed in the face with a shovel.

    All that before he opens his mouth. He comes off as some union community organizer when he speaks. The same worn out, Marxist crap about evil corporations exploiting the poor ,unwashed masses.

    Of course , he has a future in politics.

  58. I’m tires of hearing the players talking about it should be a partnership. It’s not. You are employees.

    When Jacksonville and Carolina joined the league they plunked down $140 million dollars franchise fee.

    Did any of the original Jags or Panthers kick in toward that? How about the NFLPA?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!