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DeMaurice Smith: NFL, Players' Union Considering Six-Year CBA Deal

Jun 30, 2010 – 4:15 PM
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Chris Burke

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DeMaurice SmithThe specter of a March 2011 work stoppage continues to loom over the NFL as the 2010 season approaches, but there may finally be some light at the end of the tunnel.

At the league's annual Rookie Symposium, NFL Players' Association executive director DeMaurice Smith told that the NFLPA and the league are trying to come together on a new collective bargaining agreement that would run through 2016.

"We're going to negotiate a six-year deal," Smith told at the NFL's Rookie Symposium.

Back in February at the NFL Scouting Combine, sources told FanHouse that Smith had urged a group of players' agents to advise their clients to save money in 2010, in anticipation of a 2011 lockout. Several agents said that Smith had recommended players set aside 25 percent of their paychecks this coming season.

Smith and the Players' Union have also taken issue with the NFL's TV contracts, which the NFLPA claims would pay out nearly $4 billion, even if there's no 2011 season. Smith has been adamant that the NFL open its financial books up before the two sides agree upon a new CBA. Roger Goodell has been equally stern in denying those requests.

"We haven't seen any financial information whatsoever that would suggest to us team profits are trending downward," Smith told FoxSports. "Everything we've seen indicates to us team profits and revenues are trending upwards. Even if there was a down year this year for all 32 teams, it seems to me if they believe there is something functionally wrong with the operating business model, provide us with some shred of financial information that says teams are losing or not making enough money. Let that serve as the driver for fundamental change."

When he talked with the media Sunday night at the symposium, Goodell said there were "no developments of any significance to report" in regard to a new CBA.

"There is talk. We had a meeting just last week. There will be an agreement. There will be an agreement at some point," Goodell said. "Everyone would like it sooner rather than later. Whether it's the players, the owners or the fans. So I think it's important for us all to have more productive dialogue. Sometimes these things don't happen until you get a little closer to the end. That's just the reality."
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