The NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2020 season, but NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith believes there is no better time than the present to gear up for a potential work stoppage.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports Smith sent a letter to certified player agents encouraging their clients to save money in case of a work stoppage in 2021. Graziano shared a snippet of the letter, in which Smith writes: “We are advising players to plan for a work stoppage of at least a year in length. We are also encouraging players to save 50% of their salary and bonuses and to save the entirety of their Performance Based Pay amounts they should earn over the next two regular seasons.”
To be clear, it’s not as if Smith’s message means a work stoppage is going to happen. Both sides have been working on a deal for some time, which provides enough of a reason to be optimistic a new deal can be agreed upon before this CBA expires. However, I can see where Smith’s emails could raise concern levels regarding a work stoppage.
The concept of pushing players to save some cash isn’t exactly a new sentiment from Smith, but warning players about a work stoppage that could be at least a year long two seasons before it can happen is a bit troubling. On the other hand, this is solid advice for players who are under contract who could use a friendly reminder to prepare for troubled waters ahead. There is never a bad time to save for the future, which means the present is a good time to start.