In an interview with MMQB, DeMaruice Smith says that he believes a strike or lockout could come to the NFL in 2021.
— The MMQB (@theMMQB) August 17, 2017
Smith is the executive director of the NFL Players Association. He helped close the deal on a new collective bargaining agreement in 2011, avoiding the loss of games. However, Smith does not feel the owners have kept up their side of the agreement.
“All of the mutual benefits that were supposed to happen as a result of the opt-out didn’t happen last time. Owners colluded with each other. We found out they colluded with each other. All of the bad things that went to the players happened and all of the bad things that went to the owners didn’t happen.We have a new deal where if it doesn’t get fixed, you head into a certain small ‘A’ armageddon.”
Players will bring a number of problems to the table when negotiating the new agreement. NFL players have been vocal over their financial security. Contracts to NBA players have reached new heights this offseason and all of it is guaranteed. Guaranteed money will get pushed hard by the players association, especially after the recent CTE findings that were published last month.
With all this and Smith’s knowledge of owners going back on their word, a quick negotiation process seems unlikely. Let’s hope both sides can come to an agreement or the 2021 NFL season could be a short one.