NFLPA urges agents to collude on behalf of their clients

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The Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibits teams from colluding. It doesn’t prevent players from colluding.

With the salary cap dropping and teams preparing to be extremely careful with spending, the NFL Players Association has advice for the agents who represent players: Collude.

During a virtual meeting of agents on Thursday, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told agents that they “should work together during the upcoming free-agency period to ensure that teams aren’t taking advantage of the reduced 2021 salary cap to limit player salaries,” according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (via Sports Business Journal).

Smith added, per the report, that agents “should push back on teams trying to cut players for cap reasons and should consult with one another and with the NFLPA’s cap department on the offers they’re receiving.” Smith also “told the agents it was OK for them to ‘collude’ in free agency in order to ensure the best possible deals for players.”

Indeed it is. It always has been. The challenge becomes getting the agents to do it. It’s a highly-competitive industry, and it requires a level of honor that may not exist among agents who regard each other as thieves.

Information sharing, in theory, helps everyone. In isolation, it provides a real advantage for the unscrupulous, who may be tempted either to horde information or to share false data, all in the name of being able to eventually claim that the agent got a “better” deal for the agent’s client than a rival agent got for someone else.

The irony, of course, is that many believe that the NFL’s teams, while in theory banned from colluding, do it frequently — and do it effectively.

15 responses to “NFLPA urges agents to collude on behalf of their clients

  1. “The irony, of course, is that many believe that the NFL’s teams, while in theory banned from colluding, do it frequently”
    ———————-

    Many people “believe” NASA faked the moon landing. Doesn’t make it true.

  2. There’s a finite number of agents, and there’s a salary cap. The agents are going to split up a certain percentage of the salary cap, regardless of how much or how little each individual player receives. If Smith was a good union boss, he’d fight for a higher cap number. So the agents are competing against each other for a larger chunk of the money, and the players are competing against each other for a bigger slice of the pie. This has no affect on the owners whatsoever. That’s the brilliance of the union boss. Bravo! I’ve always wondered, do the owners pick the union boss? It sure seems like it.

  3. Is Smith really too dumb to understand that a 10% reduction in the salary cap will indeed limit player salaries? Maybe he will next suggest players inject even more politics into the fans’ escapist entertainment since that has worked out so well for the league’s bottom line.

  4. Well that’s a remarkably stupid thing to say in public.
    At least the owners try to hide their collusion…

  5. Geez, turd mindset on Smith’s part, and a turd comment at the end of this article. Here’s reality: this isn’t just a salary cap sport, but one with a hard cap ceiling AND a cap floor. The CBA mandates a relatively narrow window of spending for teams, so they’re going to spend, period. The more one player gets, the less another gets, but in the end the players as a whole get what’s set out for them to get. By design. The players, as was their right, resisted some efforts to generate additional revenue over the past year to make up for the pandemic impact, and a smaller cap means less spending, period. How can teams NOT “try” to use the lower cap to lower spending…THEY HAVE TO SPEND LESS, by rule. Yes, they can use cap manipulations with contracts to free up more space in 2021, but then that leaves less money to be paid out in future. So…deal with it, just as teams are going to have to.

  6. If the cap comes down then salaries and free agent spendiny will come down, that’s basic economics.
    Let the players collude, the teams simply don’t have the money to pay the old salaries.
    What will happen is there will be cuts and those who won’t take a reduced salary won’t be signed.
    This doesn’t apply to star players who will still get paid.

  7. Take a minute and try to think of how many occupations that are less trusted than attorneys/agents.

  8. Unions usually have ‘fixed’ wages, for example from the ‘super star’ teachers to the teachers there for the paycheck – they all make the same base money (in their own district)and then you get the seniority, etc. add ons. If the NFLPA wants to collude and fix wages, maybe the owners should do the same thing..i.e. every tackle is worth $10M, qb’s $25m, etc…. how far do you think that would go?

  9. People making similar decisions independently does not equal collusion. WHY would teams need to collude? To try and keep salaries down? There’s a salary cap that does the job for them and have you seen how many teams are constantly struggling to stay under the cap? To keep certain players out of the league? Why would anybody care if a rival signed some PR nightmare to their team? They’d WANT their rivals to do something dumb like that.

  10. This guy is an idiot. Teams are going to have to cut players. Salaries adjust according to what the NFL makes in a given year. Guess what? Revenues went down and salaries need to follow. It is the agreement. Players need to understand that there are many people out there that don’t even have a job because of the pandemic. The players need to realize they are not exempt for the economics of the pandemic. They’d be wise to find a better player rep than this guy that has consistently short changed the players and now wants them to collude.

  11. Lockport Lax says:
    February 26, 2021 at 8:07 am
    Unions usually have ‘fixed’ wages, for example from the ‘super star’ teachers to the teachers there for the paycheck – they all make the same base money (in their own district)and then you get the seniority, etc. add ons. If the NFLPA wants to collude and fix wages, maybe the owners should do the same thing..i.e. every tackle is worth $10M, qb’s $25m, etc…. how far do you think that would go?

    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    Unions existed and were worthwhile 80-100 years ago as working conditions and wages were awful for many everyday common jobs. If your average salary is well over one million per year, a Union should not exist.

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