Smith reportedly sent an email to every NFL agent on Tuesday, advising their clients to "plan for a work stoppage of at least a year in length."
NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to all player agents on Tuesday and warned them of a potential "work stoppage of at least a year of length," according to the Sports Business Journal's Liz Mullen.
The NFL's collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association will expire after the 2020 season. Smith urged the league's young players to begin saving money in Tuesday's letter by telling the agents, "I can't stress enough the importance of having our player members in a sound financial situation should a work stoppage occur."
Any potential missed games will occur in the 2021 season.
"With a possible work stoppage less than two years away, this is the opportune time to set up a structured and organized savings and budgeting plan with your clients," Smith wrote on Tuesday, according to News 5 Cleveland's Lauren Brill. "Having a membership that is financially stable will only increase the chances of NFLPA player leadership getting a new CBA that will benefit not only players currently in the NFL but also the players that come after them and the ones that came before them."
Smith has discussed a potential work stoppage prior to Tuesday's email. He told The MMQB's Albert Breer in 2017 a lockout is "almost a virtual certainty."
The NFL experienced a lockout before singing the current CBA in July 2011, but an agreement was reached before the beginning of training camp. The league has not missed a regular season game since the 1987 strike.