The NFLPA’s board of representatives has voted to retain executive director DeMaurice Smith for a fifth term, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Friday.
“The NFLPA Board of Player representatives voted to extend DeMaurice Smith for one more term as our union’s Executive Director,” NFLPA president and Browns offensive lineman JC Tretter announced in a statement. “He was transparent with us about his interest in moving on after this term and for the stability and security of our union, he will work with our player leadership to ensure we have a succession plan in place for the next leader. De cares deeply about our union and about our players and we thank him for staying to help us secure a strong future for the NFLPA.”
The two sides will now negotiate a contract that is expected to keep Smith around until 2023, per Pelissero. Beginning back in 2017, Smith’s current term had been set to end in March.
Smith received favorable votes from 22 of the organization’s 32 player representatives, the minimum amount required for him to keep his position. Eight reps voted against him while the remaining two abstained, per Pelissero.
As Tretter revealed, this will be Smith’s last term, an intention Pelissero noted he was open about during a recent review.
“I shared with the players that I wanted this to be my last term as their executive director and that I wanted to stay to ensure that we have a succession plan which puts the NFLPA in the strongest possible position after I leave,” Smith said in a statement. “From the beginning of my tenure here, my mission has been the same and the fact is that I serve at the pleasure of the players. Thank you to the Board and I look forward to continuing to fight for players.”
The NFLPA previously voted to amend the union’s constitution and make the executive director’s term anywhere from one to five years. Friday’s decision gives Smith time to groom a successor and the NFLPA some stability as the league continues to navigate through another season under ever-evolving COVID-19 protocols.
Smith has been at the helm since he was unanimously elected in March 2009.