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NFLPA could sign DeMaurice Smith to contract extension as long as five years

DeMaurice Smith, right, with Roger Goodell after the 2011 labor deal was struck. (Phil Long/Associated Press)

The next term of DeMaurice Smith as executive director of the NFL Players Association could last as long as five years.

Smith was re-elected Tuesday via a unanimous vote of the 14-member selection committee of player leaders established by a new set of NFLPA election procedures.

DeMaurice Smith re-elected as NFLPA’s executive director by unanimous vote of 14 player leaders

Under those election procedures, the players’ ruling executive committee next is to negotiate a contract extension with Smith. That extension is to be three to five years, at the discretion of the executive committee.

A new contract of four or five years would give Smith a longer term than he previously has been granted. He has served a trio of three-year terms as the NFLPA’s leader, elected in 2009 and re-elected in 2012 and 2015.

The new set of voting rules resulted in Smith keeping the job without having to face competition from other candidates during this election cycle. That was accomplished by Tuesday’s vote of the 14-member selection committee that included veteran offensive lineman Eric Winston, the union’s president, and other players.

Smith’s current term was to expire in March.

New rule could bar challengers to NFLPA head DeMaurice Smith with players’ October vote

The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2020. Smith led the players through a lockout in the last set of labor negotiations, culminating with a 10-year deal in 2011. Smith has said he expects a lockout by the owners or a strike by the players in 2021. A five-year extension for Smith would last until 2023.

Roger Goodell’s contract as NFL commissioner runs until 2019. The owners are negotiating a potential five-year extension through 2024. ESPN reported Sunday that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is slowing or impeding negotiations on Goodell’s extension. That report was denied by Jones and Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, the chairman of the compensation committee that determines Goodell’s contract terms. Members of that committee are scheduled to speak Wednesday via conference call.

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