Smith and Players at Odds

The Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by the players and owners last year has been under fire almost from the beginning.  Now the little rumors and snide comments are being made in public.    The Union ranks are falling apart around DeMaurice Smith, director of the NFLPA.  Mainly because of the way “bounty-gate” has been handled by the league and Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Certainly any bargaining agreement has items each side gives up in order to get a workable contract.  For the lockout to end last year in August and make a season playable under regular scenarios, the owners and players gave up a lot.  Now the players are upset over the items Smith gave in on to make this contract possible.

According to reports, during negotiations, the NFLPA gave in on its demand an independent arbitrator make decisions on appeals by the players on rulings from Goodell.  In return, the league gave in on their request for an 18 game season.

Now the backlash comes as various NFL players are wondering why the NFLPA didn’t do more while negotiating the player discipline process.  Not only are the players asking that question, fans and even other reporters.  Truth is, the Players Association gave in while Goodell, almost immediately after the CBA was signed, continued his pursuit of an 18 game schedule.

Many players are speaking out, some more vocally than others.  One of those venting is Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White, who recently went off on the NFLPA and smith.  White isn’t hiding the fact he and other players have been left out to dry.  On Twitter Monday, White let his feelings be known.

“Players complaining that Roger Goodell is ‘judge, jury and executioner’ are a little late to the party.  Don’t know why we complaining we did this to ourselves I applaud Goodell for brokering a hell of a deal and I blame NFLPA for failing us. Whoever is the head of the baseball union that’s who we need to hire they never have problems … not our real problems.

This is the second item that has come out from the new agreement players are upset over.  The first is the “Franchise” tag that can still be placed on players, such as Saints Quarterback Drew Brees.

One could say the agreement should have been explained more thoroughly to the players before it was voted on and signed.  One could also say the players should have read the contract before verifying it.

Smith has been in the middle of the backlash and needs to come to the aid of the players immediately.  Ideas need to be acted upon as his job would depend on it.  Because it does.

The uproar has just begun.

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