De Smith hints that draft will be attacked


At a time when the NFLPA* is insisting that lawyer Jeffrey Kessler doesn’t want to take away the NFL’s version of Christmas, it remains to be seen whether NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith truly digs it.

In an interview with Jeremy Schaap of ESPN, Smith did nothing to credibly dispel the notion that the draft will be attacked in 2012.  He mentioned on multiple occasions that the NFL is now operating under “free market” principles subject to antitrust principles, and at one point he referred to the incoming rookies, who will be “owned” by the teams who draft them.

Earlier this week, Smith offered a flippant response to the direct question of whether the draft is under attack.

“If [Commissioner Roger Goodell] truly believes that the draft is something that we’re attacking, then I don’t know what’s gonna happen on Thursday, but the last time I checked my calender, the draft is scheduled to move forward,” Smith told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning.

Smith failed to point out that the expired labor agreement contemplated that a draft would occur in 2011.  And with Smith now using buzz words like “free market” and “ownership,” in reference to the draft, it’s impossible to rule out a direct assault on future drafts.

79 responses to “De Smith hints that draft will be attacked

  1. Mike,

    I think it’s pretty clear by now that the NFLPA is using this anti-trust thing as their leverage. If they say the draft is fair game, it kills all their leverage. That’s why they have been hinting as much as possible that the draft will not be taken away while still not directly stating it.

    I do not see how you think they are hinting that the draft is being attacked when they are hinting the opposite.

  2. If the NFLPA attacks the draft and the draft becomes illegal, I will stop watching football. Period.

    Dig that DeDouche.

  3. You sir, are doing a lot of reading between the lines there.

    “Did nothing to dispel the notion that the draft will be attacked in 2012” is not the same thing as hinting positively that the direction of this fiasco is to push against the draft.

  4. I would love to just smack DeMaurice Smith around for a little bit. Dont kill a system that works.

  5. Since the NFLPA disbanded and no longer exists and De Smith is no longer “involved” in the NFL business or players, how is he still making decisions on, and acting on, behalf of anyone invcolved with the NFL….

  6. De-Best-Union-Rep-in-Sports-History Smith is SCHOOLING Goodell and the owners. If Goodell thought that the 18 game season was a bargaining chip, the draft to Smith is a bargaining BOULDER!! haha!

    More people watch this dumb draft then watch the World Series. If it goes bye-bye, the owners will lose much moolah!!

    I hope Goodell is taking notes.

  7. This kind of BS only goes on until their is a new CBA and they turn back into a union. If they let this go on til next year they deserve to have the league destroyed because by that point I won’t care anymore nor will may other people I imagine.

    When everyone stops grandstanding and playing games in court and get a common sense deal done all of this disappears. We all know they stopped being a union to try to prevent a lock out. Once they went that route they almost had to come out with this level of stupidity to make it look like they were serious. How can you say they can’t lock you out but still say all the other benefits they get from being anti-trust exempt still apply.

    Doesn’t make it any less stupid though. Get a deal done already.

  8. I think Obama has met his match as the most hated Black Man in America.. and I’m Black by the way! LOL! Kayne West 3rd.. Al Sharpton 4th… Vick 5th.. and OJ Simpson round out the bunch..

  9. De Smith goes after draft, I am done. Let him and the players flush the NFL! The players get momentum, so now he’s going to act like an idiot!

  10. Shame on you.

    You know that an attack on the draft is a bargaining chip being held by the NFLPA* which will be cashed in later for a concession from the owners.

    You know it, but you report otherwise, because these hysterical accusations drive web hits.

    I beg all of the people on here who get their news only from this site to expand your horizons- do a little research on the civil court system and how these cases are settled- so you can realize that all of this hand-wringing on the future of the draft is nothing more than the author’s attempt to keep you whipped into a frenzy .

  11. Taking away the draft, would totally ruin the fair balance that has made the NFL so great. Who would want to sign with say the Panthers when a player could sign with the Packers or Patriots for the same amount of money. This has totally gone of out control. The one thing the NFL can fix is to figure out a way to get the Super Bowl played on Presidents Day weekend, so people who normally would have to work would have off on that Monday. If it means adding one game and starting the season a week later I’m fine with that. Fix that leave the rest alone.

  12. Uhhhhhhhh to those saying that the NFLPA won’t attack the draft, why wouldn’t they?

    That is something that they have no reason not to be against. If they don’t want salary caps or restriction on player movement, why do you think they will view the draft as sacred? Makes no sense, unless you still really believe that the NFLPA cares about anything other than making news and self-profit maximization.

  13. Who is less likeable? Goodell or De Smith? Honestly, I can’t tell. And these are the guys we have to count on – not only to get football back, but to get it back not appreciably worse than it was before.

    I’m not optimistic.

  14. Forget if the draft is eventually abolished, if the NFLPA even goes after it it’s gonna send the owners into a collective attitude of doing everything in their power to destroy the players. The wounds wont heal so easily in that case.

  15. This guy is an idiot. If they take away the draft, they will lose a lot of fans, including me, and the NFL will be irrevocably ruined.

  16. The draft is only guaranteed this year, then as of now next year’s draft is on trial…

    I hate DeSmith

  17. ok. i get it. this “attack the draft” sthick is getting page views and driving up your advertising rates.
    but it’s getting lame.

  18. This man is the reason for all the Nflpa problems. Worst decision they made to put him in charge.

  19. I can see why DeSmith is getting upset. Every time Goodell opens his mouth he is telling lies. De was perturbed. You could tell in his voice.

    I find it funny every poll favors the players except the ones on here.

    The quickest way to a deal is removing goodell from the equation.

  20. Funny how the tipping point for you dolts is this dumb draft.

    Many of you will watch football with replacements but won’t if there is no draft.

    Its becoming very clear why countries like China don’t take us seriously anymore

  21. This is what happen when you hire an ambulance chaser as a union rep. He still operating like a litigation attorney.
    Doesn’t look like he wants a partnership w/ the NFL.
    His actions states he does not care about the macro view of the game. (Donald Fehr)

    Part of me would like to see the NFL call his bluff on it.
    When 20 to 40% of his rank and file (special teams, backups) are making under 100K due to the floor salaries being removed with no healthcare.
    Unemployment for him would be right around the corner.

    Welcome to average Americans world.

  22. So no sports draft will exist? No draft in baseball, basketball or hockey either? Sure, do that and you kill the competitiveness of any league. In five years the NFL would be bankrupt.

  23. Yep, they’ll be attacking the draft. And if they’re successful, goodbye NFL as we know it.

  24. I’m on the fence on this. The NFL Draft is the cornerstone of why the NFL is the greatest sport in the world. It ensures that there is a chance at parity along with the salary cap.

    If there is no draft. Presumably the cap would be the next to go–leaving the NFL to become MLB–where only a handful of teams have a chance to win it all.

    Why am I on the fence?? Because I’m a Redskins fan, and those rules would favor the rich teams who are willing to shell out anything to win. I prefer the current setup, just want my team to do better under THESE rules.

  25. “Smith told ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning.”

    Guess he digs being lobbed softball questions by these two numbskulls instead of an appearence on PFT Live?

  26. Let me make you draft-lovin’ morons feel better.

    Instead of an uber-boring three day draft covering an ungodly amount of hours, how much better would it be if there was a two hour free-for-all signing extravaganza? “Draftees” go to the highest bidder.

    So instead of waiting 15 mins for a trade and then other 15 mins for another trade, etc….you would get rapid fire coverage of teams signing rooks.

    Mort would be on the phone…this just in…the Cowboys just signed Cam Newton, now we are hearing the Jets signed Peterson. There’d be coverage in every war room at the same time.

    Now that’s excitement!!!!

  27. Thank you De Smith. This will stop my crack like addiction to the draft. Now I can cancel my dtv package, pat kirwans second book and not buy anymore football crap.

    De smith you make me feel bad for the billionaires.

  28. @baugh316

    Exactly!!! What does “Attacked” mean?

    If someone said publicly the White House would be “Attacked”….the Secret Service would rain down hell on earth with complete malice in forethought….clarification is definitely needed.

  29. this whole thing is a giant joke, and while the owners own the blame for starting this mess by choosing to terminate the deal because of their greed, the current state of where it stand falls directly at the feet of the idiot de smith.

    If the players had chosen a union leader with union and collective bargaining experience this whole decertify and sue nonsense would not have happened. A leader with experience in union matters would have understood there are ways to force information(such as financial data, which is common) to be released and to ensure to bargaining in good faith actually occurs. The national labor board is there not to protect just corporations, it is there to ensure unions are not blacked balled into bad deals. De could have reached out to the unions of the various workers that cover all aspects of football for support. As well as various other methods which is common in collective bargaining.

    Instead of this they hire a lawyer who only knows how to settle matters through court, and months before negotiations occur begins to lay the ground work to decertify and sue. Even if the players successfully win this battle in court and things stay somewhat the same, what do they think is going to happen when the govt gets a new stick up its ass about head injuries or hgh testing, and decides to impose testing or mandates, now that de has opened the door for court intervention(because he cant do the job he is payed millions to do) does he think he can just shut it again when they want to do something the players are against.

    Bottom line de is doing what a lawyer would do, he is pursuing the course that sounds great and will make eye popping numbers show up for some, but for the rest all this free market nonsense means is lower pay and worse benefits for the majority.

  30. I’ll quit watching football if the draft is taken away. You do anything to mess up the competitive balance of the NFL and I’ll watch college ball exclusively.

  31. These guys have killed the goose that laid their golden egg, I truly hope the NFL disolves and cancels all contracts….. Start another league(UNFL) and invites all EMPLOYEES to apply for a position on the new teams , Under the payroll schedule and RULES of the new UNFL league EMPLOYEES will be ALLOWED to COMPETE for HIGHER paying positions……
    Just who theHELL do these guys think ALLOWS them to earn the money they just shot off, they just shot there wad and KILLED a goo0oood thing……………….

  32. onbe man wrecks the nfl. this d guy is the type of guy where the world would be a better place if he wasnt alive. what a loser. love to see the nfl shut the doors down for the next 2 years.

  33. The worst thing for the NFL, Fans, The Players (except for the guys at the top of the player food chain) is De Smith. As soon as De Smith and the NFL works out a deal he’ll act like he’s always had a “deal” in mind. Why is everyone an a-hole these days? Nothing is left untouched and clean; even the “golden egg” gets a little dirt on it I guess.

  34. Some people don’t want to be reasoned with; they just want to watch things burn…

    I beginning to believe that De Smith and Kessler are such people.

    As a fan, I don’t want to see anything change about the NFL, nor do I care how the money is divided. Owners & Players, please solve your economic differences and, in doing so, preserve our national pastime.

  35. Why would D. Smith or the NFLPA even be concerned about college players and those about to be drafted? Afterall, they aren’t dues paying members of the “union”.

  36. Did DeMaurice Smith go to the same school of illogic his man Obama went to? He continues to prove he’s not looking for a solution, he wants blood.

  37. De Smith attacking the Draft? Are you kidding me? Okay you won, but once you go after the draft, and don’t want a rookie scale, or Hgh testing, etc.. Then that’s alot of BS.. Okay if u and the owners wanna fight over percentage of who gets this money or that money but the draft is off limits! I could see Judge Nelson declaring the draft is violating anit trust laws or some crap like that.. if that happens… wow…bad day for fans, NFL, the beginning of the end of my much beloved NFL… we as fans need to stop this BS talk..

  38. Go ahead, try to defend the union side now.

    And those of you who want to screech “leverage!” must therefore also accept that decertification was a sham. Ergo, the players lose.

    You can’t have it both ways.

    God almighty, I hate the stupidity of the union and its retarded support group.

  39. I say let the playas and their nonexistent union have what they want. Treat the playas like the employees they are, and dismiss the unproductive and underproductive ones. Maybe there won’t be a draft but there are other possible means to help the teams be competitive. The teams can begin to use reason to avoid troublemakers and to stop overpaying for prospects and mediocre free agents.

  40. If this gets intolerable and the owners really want to stick it to Smith, they should just decertify the league and start all over again. Let DeMaurice pick up the pieces and figure out how to run the entire operation. At that point, he will have killed the Golden Goose and his non-union players will be left scrambling.

  41. jakek2 says:
    Apr 28, 2011 5:56 PM
    De-Best-Union-Rep-in-Sports-History Smith is SCHOOLING Goodell and the owners. If Goodell thought that the 18 game season was a bargaining chip, the draft to Smith is a bargaining BOULDER!! haha!

    More people watch this dumb draft then watch the World Series. If it goes bye-bye, the owners will lose much moolah!!

    I hope Goodell is taking notes.
    So Jake,

    While Smith was supposedly taking Goodell to school did he forget that the less money the owners make, the less money the players make?

  42. Since the NFLPA disbanded and no longer exists and De Smith is no longer “involved” in the NFL business or players, how is he still making decisions on, and acting on, behalf of anyone invcolved with the NFL….


    That’s the thing, the labor union has “decertified” just like the 32 separate “corporations” don’t collude.

  43. IMO the players are using things like the draft to gain leverage.

    That being said if they do try to get rid of the draft, then i am done. I will not watch this crap. If smith really does try and make it a “free market”system then he can go f him self.

    This is an economic policy. Its a sports league. I have been the biggest supporter of the players on this board, but if they think no draft and other such moronic ideas such as no cap or free agent rules then the players are stupid and the owners should just tell them to go f themselves and hire scabbs and we’ll see who will cross the line first.

    Even if smith is interested in taking the draft away i find it hard to believe that Vet players want that. I doubt older players want to compete with younger players for free agent dollars.

    Also though i do side with the players, the more this Smith talks the more i do not like him. “ownership” is nothing more than keywords for slavery. And if i was a Black i would be highly offended that this guy is comparing something horible like being a slave to playing a game for millions of dollars. None of these players are “owned” they don’t have to play football. They can go work at McDonalds. IMO though i don’t think 98% of the players feel this way.

    I think the biggest problem the NFL has right now is the morons in charge of the two sides. Goodell and Smith are nothing more than egomanical a$$holes and the league and the players would be wise to get rid of both of these aholes and bring in people who care more about the game and what keeps it going, the fans.

  44. “Attacked”…what does that mean exactly? The picks will come under legal scrutiny? Explain please.


    Challenged as an anti-trust violation in court. Theoretically the NFL would lose, and all college players would be allowed to join whichever teams they want to join.

  45. More people watch this dumb draft then watch the World Series. If it goes bye-bye, the owners will lose much moolah!!


    Right, and the players will probably have to take up employment at Home Depot. Kinda think the billionaire businessman owners can ride out this labor crap better than the millionaire knucklehead players can. I don’t think many owners have the entirety of their wealth tied up in their football teams.

  46. Who is this smack anyway. 4 years ago, he probably couldn’t spell NFL if you spotted him 2 letters.

    If I were the owners, I’d his sorry butt and this whole NFLPA Draft event as evidence that a union still exists. Turn back the clock to 1978 rules, play 18 games and tell the players to STFU. You’re replaceable.

  47. The football offseason is no longer interesting without the draft. If the football offseason is no longer interesting, the sport (and all of the ancillary hoopla) is greatly diminished.

    Surely there’s an antitrust wedge that the NFLPA could get in there that doesn’t involve “greatly diminishing the sport.” Fans don’t really care that much about restricted free agency, after all.

  48. So Jake,

    While Smith was supposedly taking Goodell to school did he forget that the less money the owners make, the less money the players make?
    whynotusecommonsense –

    Not true. There will always be an owner willing to pay market value for talent even if that means it coming out of the owner’s lesser share. That is why the owners better get over this $1B money grab fast.

  49. txchief – you have blogged ad nauseum that if the players want free market, etc., then they should watch out what they wish for. The owners should make them show up 365 days per year, fine them if they don’t perform, drug test them 5x per day and other retarded suggestions.

    I think only you would be so ignorant to sign such a contract.

    You need to go back to school and complete 9th grade

  50. Goodell is not in charge of anything other than the league office. For pete’s sake. He is an employee of the owners. You know, the 31 guys and the board of the Green Bay Packers who OWN the teams and the NFL. Just like Goodell, the Players are EMPLOYEES of the owners.

    I get so tired of the immature and boorish attacks on Goodell as if he’s the one calling the shots. He’s not. He does what ownership tells him to do. That’s his job.

    And you know what, for as much as he annoys me, and as much as I can’t stand his constantly telling us how much we all want an international NFL and a 18 game season, and how he is always so politically correct regarding concussions and hitting, he at least works for a living. The players don’t work. They PLAY football. 16 days a year! That’s it. Some of them sit on a bench for a living. They aren’t working!!!! They work out to stay in shape, well some of them anyway, but they don’t work. Did they work in their Pop Warner years? Their Pee Wee football years? Their high school football years? Were they “workers” in college football?

    Good grief, this AFL-CIO, Teamsters, SEIU crap about workers is hard enough to stomach, but calling NFL players, “Workers”, it’s just way over the top.

    At least Goodell does work. He has a job. He isn’t just playing a game.

    Workers. Spare me the Samuel Gompers bs.

  51. The owners never seemed like they didnt care when they were in meetings with the players.They showed up 3-4 hours late!!!! an they have pissed the former NFLPA off!!!! an The Players are sticking it to the owners as hard as they can

  52. Just looking at Smith’s mug shot–is he up to no good????? He alone may be the downfall of the NFL.

  53. andyreidisfat says:
    the owners should just tell them to go f themselves and hire scabbs and we’ll see who will cross the line first.

    It’s unlawful for the owners to hire replacement players (scabs) during a lockout.

  54. Goodell and Smith have already ruined football for me. I’m not going to watch the draft. I’m ready for college football to start so I can watch people who love to play the game (even if they play for Northwest Texas State A&M). Pro Football is dead to me. Thanks for the few good years.

  55. Smith is a high profile Washington lawyer with political aspirations.
    In effect, the worst person imaginable.
    There was zero chance he was not gonna take advantage of getting his face on SportsCenter at 6:03 every night.

  56. When they get done butchering the NFL…All well have left is three dominating teams playing flag football !!….then well see who shells out millions of dollars to watch it !! NOBODY !!

  57. When DeMotormouth went to see the opera Die Fledermaus he wept. He wished he had been born a bat instead of a rat.

  58. “It’s unlawful for the owners to hire replacement players (scabs) during a lockout.”

    Earth to Tommy: The lockout is over. Now the players and their little gnome of a leader are suing the NFL for anti-trust violations. So, what the NFL needs to do is eleminate all the rules; no draft, no trades, no salary cap, no salary floor, nothing.

    Then, the fun begins. Fire every single NFL player. Adios “workers”, you’re services are no longer needs. That’s it. Good bye. Adios. Auf Wiedersehen. There’s no salary cap, so there’s no cap it. Just good ol, get outta my office you spoiled, ungrateful dumbass.

    Then, bring back the rules and bring in a whole new set of NFL players. Bring in a bunch of free agents; pay some of them a little extra to form a new “union”, impost a 30 year CBA on them and reinstitute the draft with 30 rounds. Put in a rookie salary cap, drug testing including HGH, and every single rule the owners have ever wanted. Oh, and no free agency; ever. Not after 4 years, hot after 6 years; never. The players get out when they get traded, cut or too old.

    It’s easy. Vrabel, Brees and De Dig It can try peddling their nonsense to the Arena Football League, the UFL or they can move to Canada.

    The players won’t be “scabs”, they’ll just be new players. And in a season or two, nobody will ever notice the difference, except that the game will be so much better without all the Divas, their b_llsh_t and their NFLPA and their lawn gnome of a union leader.

  59. I went in to this labor stoppage squarely on the side of the players. After listenening to idiodic comment after comment from the players (“this is slavery!!”, “Goddell is a member of the Gestapo!!!”, etc… I am now squarely on the side of the owners.

    Oh, and thanks DeMaurice Smith… you utter obnoxiousness and complete lack of regard for the long term health of the game has me doing what I once thought was impossible… I am cheering for billionaires to come out on top.

  60. i wish this guy would just be quiet or something he is annoying, i hope noonw votes for him when he throws his self into the political arena.

  61. Mick, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The situation you dreamed up is a violation of anti-trust rules. I mean, go to bed happy tonight if you really think you’re going to see that happen, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it.

  62. Please, can we get Smith to say “We’re not gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe.”? Just once.

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