For years, the NFL Players Association was run by a former player. That could be happening again.
Matt Schaub recently told Daniel Kaplan of TheAthletic.com that Schaub would like to succeed DeMaurice Smith as the NFLPA executive director.
“I’ve talked to a lot of players and sent out, whether it’s letters and videos to them specifically on certain aspects of the CBA,” Schaub told Kaplan. “[This] allows them to generate some idea of how they feel on it, and which way they stand and lean, and how important, what’s their priority because all players, no matter where you are in your career, have a different set of priorities that they focus on.”
Schaub’s top priority to focus on would be shortening the duration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“It is unprecedented what we’ve done the last two CBAs, with the tenure of the deals, which is almost triple the average career length of most players,” Schaub told Kaplan. “These past two, it’s been too long based on what has shifted hands and shifted across the table.”
The union has hired an executive search firm to assist with the hiring of a successor to Smith. Schaub, a 13-year veteran and two-time Pro Bowler, said that multiple players involved in union leadership would not “engage” with him while the search is occurring.
“So it’s interesting to get that type of quiet treatment, so to speak, when there could be a potential internal candidate that has unfettered access to the players and communication with them and things of that nature,” Schaub told Kaplan.
Transparency would seem to be critical to the process. Ultimately, the players have to decide who they want to hire. The goal should be to find the person best suited for the job, not the person who is hand picked by those with the power to do the picking.
We’ll see how the process plays out in the coming months. However it goes, it’s in the interests of all players for the search to be as broad and inclusive and exhaustive as possible, with the goal of hiring a leader with a clear vision for the future of the union and a firm plan for implementing it.