Appearing this morning on ESPN’s SportsCenter, 49ers linebacker and NFLPA* representative Takeo Spikes talked about the timetable for a vote on the proposed CBA, which was approved Thursday by NFL owners.
“I expect a vote to happen when a fair deal is reached,” Spikes told Hannah Storm.
And that makes us even more confused about the somewhat bizarre gatekeeping function being performed by the Executive Committee and board of player representatives of a supposedly toothless trade association. Why should a small subset of all players have the ability to block a vote that hinges only on a simple majority of all players?
Moreover, how will the Executive Committee and board of player representatives decide what is and isn’t “fair,” and thus what should be passed along to the rank-and-file for a vote? Will it ride on a simple majority vote of the leadership? Or must they agree unanimously, like a jury at a criminal trial?
We’re fully prepared to respect the process, but it’s possible that these guys have too much power. And some of it may be going to their heads. If NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith recommends the deal, then all players should have the right to vote on the deal. If 50 percent plus one agree, it doesn’t matter if 50 percent minus one disagree.
That’s the point we’ve been making for the past two days. The players hired De Smith to negotiate the labor deal. Once he recommends the deal, the players need to act on that recommendation. Or they need to get a new executive director.
Meanwhile, it’s hard not to wonder whether some of the aging veterans who are in this position of power over the rest of the players are hoping to tap the brakes for a couple of weeks to reduce the opportunities of young players to bump them from the starting lineup — and/or from the roster. Why should a guy care about the players losing 48 percent of the $200 million per week that will be forfeited when preseason games are canceled if the guy is more concerned about losing 100 percent of his NFL salary for 2011, and possibly beyond, if that fourth-round draft pick has enough time to show that he can do the job better, and cheaper, than the veteran?
UPDATE: One of the concerns Spikes raised about the proposed deal is the impact down the road of inflation. On a deal that pays the players 48 percent. Of the gross.