Retired NFL journeyman Sean Gilbert seeks to replace current NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith.
Gilbert released his platform on Tuesday. In it he highlights his plan is support for an 18 game season and the abolishment of of the league's collective bargaining agreement. He claims this will be a "carrot" to draw further concessions from the owners.
Smith became chief in 2009, and oversaw a three year plan to reduce the NFL's salary cap. Gilbert claims this lead to a shift of $2.5 billion away from the players to the owners. The projected number grows to 10 billion dollars, if the CBA lives out to its 2021 expiration.
Gilbert's platform details 22 points on how he would proceed if the CBA were to be terminated. The highlights are as follows.
• A $1 million minimum salary
• Reducing rookie contracts to three years, with renegotiation allowed after one
• Free agency after three years
• Removing commissioner Roger Goodell from his role as "judge, jury and executioners on matters of players' discipline"
• Roster size increasing from 53 to 57
• 100 percent cash spending of the annual salary cap
• A contract dissolution benefit that awards players 10 percent of non-guaranteed money lost after early termination of a contract
The overall aim
Gilbert understands that all his demands are not realistic, but he believes in the one opportunity to bargain and seeks to start from a place of power. He does not want to end up making concessions before those are demanded from the owners.
Gilbert further says that he has support from many players, and that he has detailed out his plan for them. "Once I broke down what 18 games meant," he said.
"In terms of playing only two preseason games and getting an increase in salary, they understood what I'm trying to implement in terms of growing the game."
All this is a fantasy for now, because there are no indications that Smith or the NFLPA have any intention to part ways now or past 2015.
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