De Smith is caught between a rock and a hard place

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While continuing to try to figure out how the Executive Committee and board of player representatives of a supposedly toothless trade association has the power to keep the players from voting on the proposed labor deal that NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith presumably has brought to the table with a recommendation to accept it, the light bulb finally has flickered.

At this point the union can reconstitute and the labor deal can be accepted with only 50 percent plus one of the players agreeing with that approach.  The opinions and positions and recommendations of the Executive Committee and the board of player representatives don’t matter.

Come March 2012, they do.  At that time, they’ll decide whether Smith continues to be the executive director of the NFLPA, with or without an asterisk.

And so De Smith is tiptoeing through a mine field on this one.  He knows that it he sends the labor deal out for a vote to all players, more than 50 percent will jump on it.  But he also knows that, if he disrespects the Executive Committee or the board of player representatives, the next time he negotiates a labor deal it will be on behalf of one of the clients of his law practice.

So even though what they say doesn’t really matter, Smith has no choice but to respect the current process.

76 responses to “De Smith is caught between a rock and a hard place

  1. Normally I would be happy if the players voted this idiot out. But you know what? Someone just as dumb would probably replace him, so whatever.

  2. DeMaurice Smith between a rock and a hard place?

    D Smith IS the rock! He knows what he’s doing.

  3. So, in short, he is more concerned about his job then getting football back.

    What a shocker.

    Further reason for me to hate the NFLPA.

  4. The big question: why are the Executive Committee and the board of player representatives taking a much more contentious stance than the vast majority of the people they are supposed to represent?

  5. I’m sick of seeing this guys ugly face. Let’s lock these clowns out for the year and see if they come back with a better attitude next season after missing a year of paychecks.

  6. He should just get back to rockin with The Saturday Night Live Orchestra..

  7. Who cares about his situation, his job is to get a deal done!!! I am so over reading articles about the lockout!!!!!

  8. All the dumb-a** owners had to do was tell 5 of them to vote NO to give the appearance that they had to choke the deal down as well. If I’m a player and see a unanimous owner vote YES, I don’t need to read the agreement to know that I’m being screwed.

  9. He has a choice. He can work in the best interest of himself and the executive committee, or he can work in the best interest of the league and the rest of the players who would vote to approve. He deserves as much criticism as comes his way and more. If the players would give the 50%+1 then let them vote

  10. For once I feel sorry for Dee. He was not the only one to sign of on this deal. Let’s remember the executive commitee was involved all week with the negotiations. Now none of them have the balls to do what is right!

  11. If De Smith doesnt get this settled….he’s gonna be caught between my foot and his a$$.

  12. I’d say there are more pressing questions to think about concerning the vaunted D Smith. First, how in the world could the supposed head of an organization negotiate on behalf of that group and apparently not have the organization’s support to negotiate in good faith to strike a deal on their behalf? He clearly has been unable to do that since, after months of such negotiations and after having apparently worked out a “deal” with Roger Goodell, he can’t even sell that “deal” to his vaunted organization?

    And this brings us to the ludicrous point of having to wait ANOTHER several days while the players attempt to extract their heads from their rear ends long enough to vote on a supposedly already agreed upon deal with the owners. Methinks we’ve now crossed over from the ridiculous to the sublime in this whole mess. A pox on the players and their incompetent “leadership” (quotation marks intentional).

  13. common sense dictates the NFL wouldn’t have come out like they did yesterday if they didn’t feel they had a “handshake”deal. Sure it puts pressure on players but all signs were pointing to a deal being close.

    So, whats more likely? Billionaire owners who are pros at major negotiations didn’t have their ducts in a row, or a bunch of football players did not? Finally did De Smith have authority to make deal or not??

    Longer it goes on, worse it looks on players, wrong statement saying we’ll talk on Monday. Really? Whose advising the PR on this?? Congress? They should be “working around the clock”……geeeez, amateur hour.

  14. SEND IT OUT!! the reps and executive committee are losing valuable time and FANS!

  15. Bunch of BS if you ask me. So basically, hes not letting the players vote because he is worried about himself. Oh wait he is a lawyer. NEVERMIND!!!!!!

  16. If the NFLPA* still has an asterisk after Wednesday, it’ll be in the new lawsuit filing business. The owners aren’t going to sign squat if the antitrust stuff doesn’t go away.

  17. Smith is currently getting paid: $0… to negotiate a (good, not great) deal for the NFLPA*. Why should he worry about the Players’ Exec. Committee’s opinion of him, when he’s working (for free!) on behalf of EVERY NFL player? He was hired, in part, to negotiate the best deal possible… which he did. Tell Vincent Jackson, Kessler and every other road-block to step aside and get the new CBA ratified. If specific players/lawyers have issues let them file a new suit and let it stand on it’s own merit. Time to play ball!

  18. And we could be talking about free agency right now if the owners hadn’t decided to get cute at the last second.

  19. If Dee Smith knows in his heart of hearts that more than 50% are going to vote yes, he should send it out. He was hired to be the voice of everyone but in a democratic situation he is responsible for the majority.

    That might be a rock and a hard place for him but if he has an integrity, it should not be about him in the first place…

  20. Normally it is Wile E. Coyote who is pressed against the canyon wall with the giant boulder rolling down on him. But from the look on Fudd’s face, this was an exception.

  21. He needs to grow a pair. Who will be left on the board of reps and executive committee in 10 years. By then all the players will be richer and won’t care if he grows a pair today.

  22. So what?! Who carse about these penny pincher players anymore? They make millions! Just put it to a vote and stop these 40 players from ruining our lives! They need Chris Kluwe as the main representative because so far he’s the only player that’s made any sense to me…

    Hail the Kluwe!

  23. During this entire process, I wish I had a dollar for every time someone’s personal interests have gotten in the way of the greater good.

    If this whole ridiculous scenario had been a movie, we all would have walked out a long time ago…..

    The owners and players absolutely could not give a sh** about the fans. I for one in my tiny little universe no longer give a sh** about them.

    They have all f’d this up beyond repair as far as I’m concerned. It’s no longer anything I feel good about supporting financially or in any other way.

  24. I’d like to know why the NFL owners aren’t respectingthe silence of Kraft’s wife death and player’s are. I don’t know why the players feel obliged not to talk. I don’t see them talking as any disrespect to this dead women.

    I’d like to hear from Saturday, Foxworth and Batch as they see like the most influential players in the process. Why haven’t we heard from them?

  25. We should all pull together and just save up one big NFL expense this year (one set of game tickets, a new jersey, anything) and send a huge, collective check to Smith from the fans. The conditions? Send out the approval letter, get it signed, and get this thing going. That way, when the players fire him, he doesn’t have to worry about a big loss of compensation.

  26. The players who want to play, can vote and re-certify the union, without the blessings of D Smith..NOW ! They have the votes necessary.The rest of the players who want to hold out….fine, stay home and watch the games…..of course your checks are going to be a little light[ non existent]

  27. Its looking like a few pre-season games will be missed now, surely the first week – if we have a season at all that is.

    I hope you fans of the Panthers, Titans, Broncos, Vikes and Bungles truly understand that your respective teams are going to be bad on offense.

    Barring a veteran QB being signed, Ponder, Newton, Locker and Dalton’s performances will be the poster child’s for this elongated lockout. Yeah they may have their playbooks but there’s no substitute for quality NFL coaching during rookie and OTA camps.

    Get used to interceptions galore, sacks and turnovers off of exotic zone blitzes and a whole lot of 3 and outs for these kids.

  28. Something tells me that Takeo Spikes or Vonnie Holliday or whoever else does not have the intellectual or business acumen to deconstruct the deal and determine if it is “fair” or not. Your player representative that the players chose negotiated this deal on behalf of the players, but they do not even have the common sense to follow the recommendation of the guy they hired to do that explicit job. As much as I am not a De Smith fan, he worked his ass off over the past few weeks and got the players A LOT of money and a lazy practice schedule.

    Not to mention that he will even get the retired players a lot of money without the NFL requiring a test for HGH which will seemingly have long-term affects on player’s health (not to mention undetected Steroids).

    It’s time like these that I wish the players would heed the advice of one Big Tom Callahan:

    “I can get a hell of a good look at a TBone steak by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I would rather just take the butcher’s word for it”

  29. Does anybody know if the NFL could shut down and re-open a new league. Teams could simply change names and start over. Fans in the end cheer for their teams, not the players.

  30. Who cares, the new “we don’t have to practice” CBA is a disgrace to the integrity of the game.

  31. about time.

    don’t let the door hit you on the way out.


    see ya never.

    here’s a tip for your next gig: do the right thing, for the right reasons, and you can’t go wrong. the right thing here, is getting a deal that the majority of the players and owners, accept in a timely manner, to please the fan. You failed.. miserably.

  32. I heard that the role of Mo Howard has yet to be cast for the new Farelly Bros. Three Stooges film. De Smith would be a natural.

  33. If the NFLPA delays the vote too much longer, it could back fire on the union for future lawsuits by individual players. The individual player(s) could possibly sue the union for delaying their ability seek employment properly. The union can’t deny a player (worker) the ability to seek employment for more 72 hours. 3 days is more than enough time to review a new collective bargaining agreement. Also, players could create another Union. NFLPA threading thin ice.

  34. De Smith will just talk his way out the rock and hard place. With his silver tongue and eloquent speech he will ummmm and ahhhh right out of it.

  35. Dear DeMaurice Smith, I think I speak for millions of fans across the country when I say that if you go ahead and send it out and get fired, we will hold a very large collection plate for you that should keep you happy for the rest of your life.


  36. So let me get this straight, you’re saying that if the players were to vote right now that more than 50% would vote yes to the agreement, but because this loser is worried about looking bad in front of 32 other losers he won’t? Well what the hell are the 1,868 other guys doing? If 32 idiots are mad at Smith because 1,868 will vote yes then how about the 32 reps and this moron get kicked to the curb and we have a vote right now via electronic signature and BOOM! training camp starts on 7/23/11.

    The 32 player reps, Kevin Douc….umm Mawaa and Demaurice Smith need to get out of the majority of the players way. If 50% + 1 want to play football then thats it, lockout over, drama over let’s play some football.

  37. Has anyone ever noticed how different the names are on this site compared to a normal team site? Most of the names here are hardly intelligible – they have little or no meaning relative to football. It causes me to wonder if these people are just trolls who come here to attack players or owners but have no true connection to any football team.

  38. What perplexes me is why the F wasn’t this a more transparent, real time process whereby the players (or reps, anyway) could be briefed on the issues as they unfurled…and decisions could be dealt with on the fly – so that all parties were informed/ready to vote when it came time. Not that difficult. Why is it always a day late and a dollar short!?

  39. endzonezombie:

    “Has anyone ever noticed how different the names are on this site compared to a normal team site? Most of the names here are hardly intelligible – they have little or no meaning relative to football. It causes me to wonder if these people are just trolls who come here to attack players or owners but have no true connection to any football team.”


    Interesting observation…lol

  40. At first I hated De Smith and everything he said. I still don’t really care for Goodell, but both of these guys have done a great job hammering this thing out and getting it to the table. They have both won my respect and De Smith will come out of this deal smelling like arose whether we like it or not. It is what it is. After listening to these 32 Player Reps, I now what an Obstructionist truly is.

    I’m a Buc Fan, and Jeff Faine (the rep) will be hard pressed to even make the team. We know this whole young team wants to play and play now. I can’t speak for the other 31, but it’s time to kick Mr Faine and his views to the curb, Sucka.

  41. DE Smith and the players union are who we thought they were…and we should not let them off the hook.

    Now show up like we do – to every game!

  42. reggiebush25 says:
    Jul 22, 2011 6:42 PM
    De Smith is da man…U stupid fans don’t know any better!!!!!!


    Stay classy, Mr. Bush. Hand that feeds. You’ll get yours soon enough. Stupid.

  43. Utterly amazing to me how working-class people on this site can so fervently approve of the actions of a bunch of ego-maniac jerks like the NFL owners.
    None of you will likely ever own an NFL team. But many of you work(presumably) and if you can sit here and not see what the jerks in ownership are trying to do to the players(the workers) then I have to lower my opinion of how smart some of you are.
    You act like the players–yup the same guys you cheer for on Sunday–are some kind of evil toads keeping you from your joy.
    1)The NFL players are not employees. The structure of the league is the players are PARTNERS with owners in the league. This arrangement has led to the NFL being the most popular U.S. sport.
    2)The players were happy to work under the former agreement. The owners changed it, not the players.
    3)If you get into a fight with the big bully in the school yard do you lay down on the ground and say, “just so recess goes without incident I’ll lay down and have you kick the crap out of me”?
    4)It’s clear the owners tried to do what some local governments try to do: slip changes in the agreement in at the last second hoping to be able to declare victory over the lessers.

    The job D. Smith has done is a good one: he’s been able to talk to the other side while not backing down. I’m sick of the “fans” kicking him on this site and others. Wake up. He represents the players–workers—people like you. Those “compassionate” owners couldn’t care less about you until it’s time for you to ante up. Yes the players make more money, but they also risk life and limb for your entertainment. Have some respect and for God’s sake, grow up.

  44. It sounds like you feel sorry for this guy. He is VERY WELL compensated for his job. His job as a union leader is to negotiate the best deal he can for the players and then let the players vote on the proposal. If he doesn’t like his position he should resign or never have taken the position in the first place. I have to believe if Troy Vincent had gotten this job we would have had football by now.

  45. Instead, I wish he were caught between the jaws of an alligator……… Same goes for Jackson, Brady and Manning although they’d taste spoiled.

  46. The “D” stands for D-bag! Can’t stand this guy… He can’t even do his job! Can we trade him for a 6th rounder or practice squad player?

  47. De Smith gets called an “Eggplant” by some bigoted piece of ish named “2sloweggroll” and 117 people thumb it up? Explains a lot of the comments on these boards. I didn’t realize that PFT was a Klan hangout.

    Disappointing, no matter what your opinion of Smith, bigotry is unacceptable.

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