DeMaurice Smith is still the NFLPA's executive director. NFLPA team representatives voted to retain Smith during a conference call on Friday night. Smith received the minimum number of 22 votes for another term, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. Eight representatives voted against him, and two representatives abstained.
While his new term may last only a year, the understanding is that this will be Smith's final term, according to CBS Sports HQ NFL Insider Josina Anderson. Part of the reason why Smith remains in his position is because team representatives want more time to vet other candidates, per Anderson.
"The NFLPA board of player representatives voted to extend DeMaurice Smith for one more term as our union's executive director," NFLPA president and Browns offensive lineman JC Tretter said in a statement. "He was transparent with us about his interest in moving on after this term and for the stability and security of our union, he will work with our player leadership to ensure we have a succession plan in place for the next leader. De cares deeply about our union and about our players and we thank him for staying to help us secure a strong future for the NFLPA."
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The NFLPA's executive committee voted Tuesday to determine whether Smith could continue to hold the position. A unanimous approval vote would have kept Smith in the job, but the vote was reportedly a 7-7 split. That vote left Smith's future in the hands of NFLPA team representatives, who voted to retain him.
Earlier in the day, The Wall Street Journal published a report unveiling a 2011 email sent from Jon Gruden to then-Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen. In the email, Gruden was critical of Smith while using insensitive language. The email was discovered during the NFL's investigation of Washington's workplace misconduct. Gruden has apologized for his comments of Smith. The NFL and Raiders owner Mark Davis have also issued statements denouncing Gruden's comments in the email. Smith also responded to Gruden's comments
Smith, 57, has had held his current position since March 2009 after being reelected unanimously in 2012 and 2015. Smith was part of two collective bargaining agreements in 2011 and in 2020. The main changes stemming from the 2011 CBA included an emphasis on player safety as well as increased revenue sharing. A new rookie salary system was also implemented to limit spending on first-round picks. Those savings were reallocated to veteran players.
Despite one year remaining on the 2011 CBA, the NFL and NFLPA agreed to a new CBA in 2020 that passed by just 51.5 percent. After lobbying for an extended season in 2011, the owners got their wish in the form of a 17th regular-season game that came into effect following the 2020 season. The league also expanded the playoff field from 12 to 14 teams. The preseason was reduced from four to three games. Larger roster sizes, limits on teams being able to use their franchise and transition tags and a more relaxed drug policy were also included in the new CBA, which is slated to run through 2030.
While salaries and player safety have improved under his watch, Smith has received criticism from players that did not agree with the NFL's expanded regular season. Smith has also received criticism for his handling of Colin Kaepernick after the former 49ers quarterback was not signed by an NFL team following his protests during the national anthem.