Report: DeMaurice Smith's contract expires in March

DeMaurice Smith’s performance in critical labor negotiations on behalf of NFL players will surely be tied to his next contract.

Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Journal reports that Smith’s current contract expires March 14, meaning the labor situation will still be fresh on the minds of the men he represents when he could be up for re-election to the post that his predecessor Gene Upshaw held for more than two decades.

According to an annual report filed with the Department of Labor, Kaplan reports Smith was paid $2.45 million this past year. He sought a longer contract when he was initially hired, but the players wanted to see how he performed in the post knowing that rocky waters were ahead.

“His contract was obviously framed around these negotiations. He has to prove himself,” said Bill Gould, a former National Labor Relations Board chairman and professor at Stanford told Kaplan. “This whole process is a big test for him.”

It’s not just the players that are watching Smith and how he performs. The NFL’s brass is watching him closely, knowing he could be the man they’ll be working with for years to come.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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