NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith on 18 games: 'It's not my decision to make'
Former NFL defensive lineman Sean Gilbert, who is hoping to replace DeMaurice Smith as executive director of the NFL Players Association, outlined his platform in a conference call with select media on Tuesday.
The platform includes a proposal to eliminate two weeks of preseason games in exchange for an 18-game regular season, something in which the NFL has expressed interest.
Smith addressed the issue of extending the regular season Tuesday on ESPN's SportsCenter:
“Going back to answer the question as directly as I can: It’s not my decision to make,” Smith said. “If someone thinks that it’s better for them to play 18 games, then I know that there's a healthy number of football players playing right now who would say go ahead and you play 18 games.”
NFLPA president Eric Winston, an offensive tackle for the Seattle Seahawks, told USA Today in March that the notion of increasing the length of the regular season to 18 from 16 is "dead in the water."
"I won’t let it happen. I don’t think any of these other guys are going to let it happen. It’s a safety issue."
Smith's term expires in March 2015.
Other points on Gilbert's platform include a raised minimum salary, eliminating compensatory draft picks, limiting rookie contracts to three years and terminating the current CBA, which runs through 2021.
- Chris Johnson