Four years ahead of the expiration of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with its players, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says the two sides are already headed for “small-A armageddon,” whether that be a lockout or a strike. Here’s a brief video from an interview Smith did with The MMQB’s Albert Breer:
This isn’t the first time someone from the union has signaled a willingness to go to the mattresses during the next round of labor talks. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said last month that players need to be “willing to strike,” and NFLPA president Eric Winston recently had choice things to say about the league’s treatment of players on a variety of issues.
The nastiness between the two sides came to a head with the league’s handling of its investigation and suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Yesterday, the league accused the NFLPA of leaking information to smear Elliott’s victim, with the union countering that the NFL was lying. Smith’s tough talk is obviously a public negotiating tactic, but it’s the kind of posturing we all ought to get used to hearing between now and 2021.