Tag:DeMaurice Smith
Posted on: September 8, 2010 1:07 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2010 4:22 pm

DeMaurice Smith: 'lockout is coming in March'

Posted by Will Brinson

Of all the frustrating offseason storylines , there's one that's perhaps most annoying: the impending NFL lockout in 2011. DeMaurice Smith, the union leader for the NFLPA, confirmed his belief on Wednesday that he think a lockout is coming.

“I still feel that a lockout is coming in March,” Smith told Bloomberg Sports .

Smith's biggest point of contention is the NFL refusing to actually provide financial information relating to their claim that they're not pulling in enough cash. (Enough here, of course, is relative.)

“If this model is not working, i.e. teams are losing money, then we’re willing to see the evidence of that and make the changes,” Smith said. “But prove it. If not, what’s the justification for getting a billion back from us?”

Smith, along with most players, doesn't care for the also-impending possibility of an 18-game season.

“We don’t look at two extra games as being divorced from the health, medical and safety standpoint,” Smith said. “It’s impossible to divorce one part of this from the whole.”

That may be true -- however, it seems pretty likely that the league will get its 18-games one way or another. Also likely, as expressed by Smith's quotes, is the NFL locking its players out.

Owners and players are just too far apart right now, and because the 2010 season is beginning and because 2011 seems so far away (regardless of whether it's true or not), the urgency to really sit down, negotiate and hammer out a deal just isn't out there for either side.

Which is why there's a pretty good chance that the most important people, the fans, will end up suffering the most.

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Posted on: July 23, 2010 7:31 pm

Equipment rules starting to take center stage

The NFL and NFLPA have concluded a study looking into the safety of helmets. The study found that all 16 of the commercial helmet styles manufactured by Riddell, Schutt, Protective Sports Equipment and Adams “met the current National Operating Committee on Standard for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) certification to protect players against severe traumatic skill and brain injuries,” according to league documents.

More helmet safety tests are expected in the future. The more immediate equipment issue is players wearing the proper padding – something that happens with less and less regularity these days. The NFL needs to do a better job of enforcing equipment rules. Alex Marvez of FOX Sports wrote an excellent piece that puts this in perspective.

Only 50 percent of players wear every major piece of protective padding at their disposal, according to statistics given the league by the NFL Players Association.

Even though it may lower concussion risk, one quarterback (Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck) and two centers (Kansas City’s Casey Wiegmann and Washington’s Casey Rabach) surveyed by FOXSports.com said they don’t use mouth guards largely because of verbal communication concerns and discomfort. Wide receivers and defensive backs are known for eschewing any protection between their knees and torso. Some remove the actual padding and use only the thin plastic shells.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith agree that changes need to be made. Any new rules regarding equipment could easily be enforced by referees. Players are already required to buckle their chinstraps. If they repeatedly fail to do this, the referees can bar them from the field. Broadening the scope of this rule to include additional equipment would be simple.

--Andy Benoit 

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