NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith's job in jeopardy after executive committee vote, sources say

Sources told ESPN Wednesday that DeMaurice Smith's tenure as the executive director of NFL Players Association could be ending.
Sources said that Tuesday night's vote by the NFLPA executive committee determined whether Smith should remain in the position he held for 12 years. The constitution of the NFLPA states that Smith would have been kept in his job if there was a unanimous vote by all 14 members. This is likely to be on a three-year contract. Sources said that the vote was split evenly at 7-7.

Smith's job status now rests with the 32 NFLPA team player representatives. A conference call vote has been tentatively scheduled for 6 pm. ET Friday. Smith would be reelected if 22 of 32 player representatives vote to keep him. If Smith does not receive 22 votes, the position of NFLPA executive Director will be open to other candidates at the annual meeting of the NFLPA in March.

The NFLPA constitution states that if Smith doesn't get enough votes Friday, the union must hire a search company to present him with candidates for March. Smith will be allowed to run again if he receives 16 votes or more Friday. However, it is not clear if he would like to.

Smith had been supported by the executive committee for many years. However, many of its members, including Richard Sherman, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback, voiced their dissatisfaction at the manner Smith and the union leadership negotiated the last collective bargaining agreements. Many prominent players felt that the union should have pushed for more concessions from the team owners.

The CBA, which will run through 2030, was ratified in a close vote by the NFLPA on March 8, 2020. This happened just three days after the NBA suspended its season. Sports around the world were also shut down for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Smith and the leadership of the NFLPA have stressed to their members that it would be much more difficult to negotiate a new CBA in the midst of the pandemic. Some union members are still dissatisfied, but some are convincing others that it is time to change the leadership.