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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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NFLPA Picks Lloyd Howell as Next Executive Director

  • Howell is succeeding DeMaurice Smith, who has led the union since 2009 across four terms.
  • One NFL agent says getting rid of the franchise tag is one critical collective bargaining issue.
DeMaurice Smith's era as NFLPA President is nearing an end.
Syndication: Arizona Republic.

The NFLPA has elected Lloyd Howell as its new executive director to replace DeMaurice Smith, who has held the position since 2009.

Howell was previously chief financial officer at Booz Allen, a Virginia-headquartered firm that provides consulting, engineering, and military defense services to governments and businesses. Howell retired in December from Booz Allen after spending 34 years at the company. 

Smith’s current term as the union’s executive director can run into 2024, but Howell can take over before then, according to Jonathan Jones of CBS. 

“It is my pleasure to welcome Lloyd Howell as our new Executive Director,” wrote NFLPA president JC Tretter. “I am proud that our player leadership ran a professional, confidential search for the players, by the players. I know Lloyd will lead our union well into the future.”

“We look forward to working with Lloyd and his team to continue growing the game and making it better, safer, and more accessible and attractive to fans around the world,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. ​

Smith’s 13-year tenure leading the NFLPA spanned four terms. Under Smith’s leadership, the NFLPA boosted its total assets by 5% to $1.055 billion in 2022, partly due to player licensing deals for video games, trading cards, and apparel.

The NFL’s current collective bargaining agreement signed in 2020, which included the addition of a 17th regular season game and expanded playoffs, runs through the 2030 season. 

Quarterback Lamar Jackson resigned with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason for $260 million, the largest contract in NFL player history. NFL agent Blake Baratz of Team IFA spoke to Front Office Sports about issues he’d like to see changed with the current CBA.

“I think NFL players need a bigger percentage of the revenue split,” Baratz told FOS. “I think there’s gotta be some level of a minimum guarantee of every single contract that’s signed. I don’t think it’s fair to sign guys with nothing guaranteed and string them along in the offseason then cut them Or, I think the number of players should be reduced.”

Baratz also thinks the NFL’s franchise tag should be abolished as “none of the good players get to free agency.”

“The franchise tag is a huge factor in guys not having leverage because the best players in football can’t get to free agency, and that trickles down to the tier two guys and the tier three guys and the tier four guys,” he said. “Getting to free agency in the NFL is the hardest thing to do. None of the good players get to free agency. Saquon Barkley can’t get there, Davante Adams never got there, Patrick Mahomes isn’t getting there. Josh Allen isn’t getting there. Justin Herbert’s not gonna get there, Joe Burrow’s not gonna get there. It’s hard to get to free agency when you have a mechanism to keep a player at a fraction of their value. Lamar Jackson was the unanimous MVP and couldn’t get there.”

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