Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

National Football League Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith visits Tampa Bay Buccaneers to talk about collective bargaining agreement

DeMaurice Smith

DeMaurice Smith

TAMPA — In an effort to educate and galvanize, NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith stopped by One Buc Place on Wednesday to address players, one of 28 such meetings with teams across the league.

Smith's goal: to make players aware of how the collective bargaining agreement negotiations with owners, and the prospect of a lockout in 2011, affect them and their families.

"I don't know how likely it is," Smith said of a lockout. "I'm not invited to the owners' planning session. But I know about the steps where our guys look at the objective factors that are out there. We know (the owners have) got a good lawyer who was involved in the NHL lockout (in 2004-05). We know they've talked to coaches about changing their contracts in the event of a lockout.

"What our guys know is they look on the horizon and they see certain steps being made, and really, the message to them is, how do you respond to it? What does it mean? And what do we need to do?"

For now, the answer seems to be hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Players said they emerged from the meeting with a greater awareness and a dose of reality. Among the points Smith made, receiver Michael Clayton said, was that a half-percent concession in player compensation would amount to a $77 million loss.

Other topics Smith addressed included extending the regular season by a game or two, a proposal being promoted by commissioner Roger Goodell. Smith is resisting unless it benefits the players.

"Our guys understand the cost of playing football," Smith said. "Their families see the cost because they see them at home when they're not on television. And our guys understand the cost when on a Monday morning or Tuesday morning, they struggle to stand upright.

"What they don't understand, frankly, is what does the average team make per game? What's the average profit, per team, per playoff game? How have the profits per team, per game either risen or fallen over the last 10 years?"

That was Smith's segue to another sticking point, that owners refuse to open their books to the union during negotiations.

"How can two partners … ever sit down and have a meaningful discussion about this issue or other issues and have one party be in a situation where you don't know the profit-loss situation per team," Smith said.

MILLER'S TIME: Rookie DT Roy Miller spent his second day in a voluntary full-team workout and already is learning that he will have growing pains. It seems they'll be inflicted mostly by fourth-year G Davin Joseph.

"He's a man," Miller said after working against Joseph. "In your mind, you want to think it's just another guy. But going against him, you realize he's really good and it's going to be great practice going against him."

National Football League Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith visits Tampa Bay Buccaneers to talk about collective bargaining agreement 05/20/09 [Last modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:52am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?


    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: What went wrong on defense?


    Greg Auman is back from Buffalo, going back over a difficult finish and tough loss for the Bucs, in his latest Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Buffalo Bills tight end Logan Thomas (82) makes a touchdown catch over Bucs defensive back T.J. Ward (43) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Jim McElwain: Florida Gators have received death threats after 3-3 start


    GAINESVILLE - The Florida Gators' 3-3 start is causing some fans to become irrational - even by college football standards.

    UF coach Jim McElwain said there have been death threats made against people related to his program.
  4. HomeTeam 25: Football rankings for Tampa Bay


    1. Armwood (8-0)

    Up next: vs. Hillsborough

    Jefferson High School running back Niko Duffey is tackled by Armwood defensive end and outside linebacker Fitzroy Gardner during the first half of the Armwood at Jefferson football game in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, September 22, 2017.
  5. Buccaneers-Bills Turning Point, Week 7: How does a receiver get that wide open?


    A lot can go wrong in the time it takes you to walk from your couch to the refrigerator.

    [NFL Game Pass]