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‘Stay ready’: Inside DeMaurice Smith, NFLPA’s meeting with Chiefs players on CBA discussions

DeMaurice Smith

By Mike Jones (Original source USA Today)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — DeMaurice Smith is tired.

“The executive director of the NFL Players Association has checked off 28 stops on his annual 32-team tour. And now, as he steps out of his hired black Chevy Suburban and gives the Kansas City Chiefs’ headquarters a once-over, Smith readies for visit No. 29.

The next 48 hours represent the final leg of his 5-½ week journey that included meetings with the Eagles, Cowboys and Vikings.

Smith and his team of union executives usually spread their stops out over a 10-week span, wrapping up just before Thanksgiving. But there’s an increased urgency this year.

The current collective bargaining agreement between the NFL’s owners and players union will expire in a season-and-a-half. There’s a strong belief among many within players and owners’ circles that the best bet to avoid a work stoppage is to reach an agreement within the next few months. So, soon after Smith concludes his tour, negotiations will resume.”

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