Agents intrigued by Sean Gilbert's NFLPA rookie-contract proposal
Sean Gilbert, in his effort to unseat DeMaurice Smith as head of the NFLPA, has proposed a deal in which in exchange for an 18-game schedule, rookies would become free agents after three years.
Gilbert suggests that in exchange for an 18-game season -- something the owners covet -- Gilbert would demand that all rookie contracts be limited to three years. As such, players would need 54 games (three years at 18 games a year) to earn free agency, rather than the minimum now, which is 64 games (four years at 16 games a year). Gilbert, you may remember, stood up the owners as a player, holding out a full year before getting a huge new deal, and also orchestrated successful holdouts for his nephew, star corner Darrelle Revis. He also says he has consulted with powerful attorneys in New York and believes he has evidence for a collusion case that would provide the NFLPA with the ability to terminate the current 10-year CBA between labor and management.
Several agents said they believe they might be able to sell the 18-game proposal to their clients, and would support it, but they don’t think the NFL would ever agree to anything like that.
“The owners are too smart,” one top agent said. “They would never go for three years for everyone. And even for the players, talk about an over-saturated market. But agree with pushing the idea.”
Some believed that perhaps the NFLPA might one day get contracts limited to four years -- but even that would take a major fight with the NFL. Agents have been talking privately about their belief the teams have been engaging in some form of collusion, but, again, proving that is a different standard.
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