If I know one thing about NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith, it is that you do not want to have him angry with you. Smith made it clear in an interview yesterday with ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio, that there seems to be a double standard when it comes to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s handing out discipline to the players and the owners.
Smith took issue with the lack of punishment, at least thus far when it came to Indianapolis Colts owner James Irsay, who continues to run the team’s operations despite being arrested on preliminary charges of impaired driving as well as being in possession of controlled substances.
To be fair to Goodell, in most cases before he has doled out any fines or punishment he has waited for the legal process to run its course first. Sunday,Irsay the formal charges were brought against the Colts owner and should he be found guilty, each charge carries a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail with a $500 fine.
So, Smith is putting Goodell on the clock to bring the Irsay matter to a quick resolution.
Smith also discussed the issue of the possibility of the expansion of the NFL Playoffs in 2015, going from 12 to 14 teams playing in the post season. Smith was quick to tell Paolantonio that the expansion of the playoffs could not come without the players agreeing to the plan.
“If there will be an expansion of the playoffs, there will be a proposal by the National Football League pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement,” Smith said. “That is a change of working conditions. Changes of working conditions must be negotiated with this union. And I haven’t seen a proposal from the National Football League, and I know that is a necessary precondition.”
There will be more television money coming to the NFL from their broadcast partners, CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN. That means more cash and Smith is letting Goodell and the owners know that the players want some of the cash.
However, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has a much different take on the matter as you might expect. He told Pro Football Daily and Newsday’s Bob Glauber, at the owners meetings back on May 19th that “Not to my knowledge do we need the NFLPA’s approval to expand the playoffs.”
It is way too early to think of another possible lockout in 2015 but clearly the NFLPA and their tough leader Mr. Smith.