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Resource ID: #29067
Subject: NFL
Source: Don Van Natta Jr., Seth Wickersham
Affiliation: ESPN
Date: 2021-02-23



NFL players’ narrow, 60-vote approval of a new collective bargaining agreement in March 2020 should have been a moment that defined the power not only of NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith but of the labor force he leads. It was a once-in-a-decade chance to elevate NFL players into NBA players’ realm of compensation and influence. But that’s not what happened. Instead, after fashioning himself as the league's foremost antagonist, Smith is now viewed by some in his own ranks and by some owners as an asset to management, according to interviews with team owners; current and former union, league, and team executives; lawyers and agents; current and former players; and reviews of thousands of public and confidential documents.
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