Why They Pay DeMaurice Smith the Big Bucks

May 17, 2012

This is a copy of a handout given out by the NFLPA to show their great work to Certified Contract Advisors at the annual Sports Lawyers Association conference recently held in San Diego CA.
So if they did such a great job, where did all that money go for the retired players? The NFL has now officially stated for the record that they were already offering to put up 51% of what was needed to cover an increase to widows’ benefits if the NFLPA put up the other 49% (read about that on an earlier post – click HERE). And a large number of retired players are still reporting back that they have yet to even hear back from the fund on their Legacy Benefits while others are already receiving their retroactive checks and increased payments. So maybe it’s time to stop bragging and show retired players and their families the money, Mr. Smith.
We’ve posted a copy of the handout to Scribd for viewing and to make it downloadable. You can also click the Fullscreen button in the lower right corner of the screen to enlarge it for easier navigation (just hit the ESC key to close):
2012 SLA NFLPA Meeting Notes
EDITOR’S NOTE: Best analysis so far from Mike Florio on ProFootballTalk:
Click HERE to read that article.

8 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Henrietta Watson
    May 18th, 2012 at 4:30 am #

    Sid Watson


    It is a case of discrimination, either gender or age. When over 300 widows are excluded from receiving an increase while the owners already agree to fund 51%, the only reason is discrimination.

    Age or gender, take your pick!

    Again thank you for the updates.

    Henrietta Watson
    widow Sid Watson (1932 – 2004)
    Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins
    1955 – 1958

  2. Kamal Ali Salaam-El
    May 18th, 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    Reggie Harrison

    I thought everybody had gotten paid except me but now that I hear there are other guys who haven’t got paid, I’m wondering what the heck is going on?!! My monthly medication alone is $1,400.00 out of pocket. I have yet to see an increase or Legacy Fund. Now I hear it’s one or the other for guys who receive disability benefits and it’s retroactive from August.

    My question is, “WILL IT EVER COME?”


    Kamal Ali Salaam-El
    Reggie Harrison
    Pittsburgh Steelers
    1974 – 1977

  3. Gordon Wright
    May 19th, 2012 at 12:12 am #

    Gordon Wright - NY Jets

    The PR Machine for Smith is the way of our New America. Or is it the same old America? Brain wash by repeating lies often enough until everyone believes them!

    Smith is like most lawyer/politicians: Excellent liars with muscle and money to strong arm every situation in their favor. They’re liars, beggars and thieves running their Self-Benefit Plan!

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970

  4. George Visger
    May 19th, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    George Visger

    Discrimination, delays, lies – it’s all been the NFL and NFLPA’s business model from day one. While our hard-working fearless NFLPA leader, De Smith, is knocking down an 8-figure salary, the rest of us and our families are struggling just to make ends meet. All due to our NFL industry-caused injuries and blocked access to our earned benefits.

    We need to keep pressure on our Congressional representatives until they remove that antitrust exemption the NFL has hidden behind for years.

    This battle will come down to a war of public opinion. We need more of us to step forward and tell our stories. The NFL and NFLPA have taken advantage of the very character that helped us to make it in the NFL: Our refusal to admit we’re injured.

    There’s no shame in suffering an industry-caused injury which impacts your families lives and talking about it.

    Keep showing courage to tell your stories!

    George Visger
    San Francisco 49ers 1980 & 1981
    Survivor of 9 NFL Caused Emergency VP Shunt Brain Surgeries
    (As I was forced to prove in a CA court of law in 1986)
    Benefactor of ZERO NFL Benefits

  5. Leroy Jones
    May 20th, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Leroy Jones

    Just wanted to let you guys who are drawing Disability know that I finally received a letter from the NFLPA the first week of May to let me know as a player receiving Disability Benefits that my benefits will NOT change. I will NOT be receiving any more money from the Legacy Fund Benefit which means the retroactive money I thought I would get from Legacy back to August 1st will not happen!

    They stated last month the NFL and NFLPA amended the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan to implement and finalize specific changes. And they regretted the delay in telling me this!

    Leroy Jones
    San Diego Chargers
    1976 – 1983

  6. John Hogan
    May 21st, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    John Hogan


    As Bob Stein pointed out recently, guys on disability are not getting a Legacy Fund benefit if their disability payment is more than the combined pension credits and Legacy Fund benefit – which is the case for virtually all guys on disability. You should have received a $10,000 per year increase in disability. ($7,500) if you took a one-time draw from your pension before being placed on disability.

    The main purpose of the Legacy Fund benefit was to raise the pitiful pension many guys were receiving – some as low as $200 per month.

    John Hogan
    Disability Attorney
    Retired Player Advocate

  7. Gordon Wright
    May 21st, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Gordon Wright - NY Jets

    George V. –

    I don’t understand why the NFL has not had their Anti-Trust revoked either but I hope they will.

    Leroy J. –

    I know how you feel. I have been suffering with a bad back since 2003. I was told that if I delayed getting my disability until full retirement age I would get my full benefits. So I waited and then received a letter stating I would receive a few thousand dollars.

    My wife went and picked out a stove and refrigerator because our stove is 15 years old and it does not work so she cooks with a crock pot. Our refrigerator is 15 years old and does not close properly and it does not freeze properly. Well, SSDI figured a way not to pay me my past due benefits and I finally received a check for just one month which amounts to $1075.00. Needless to say, my wife cried like a baby and I promised her once our only vehicle is paid in full in May 2013, I will finally get her a new refrigerator and stove. In the meantime, I am doing the best I can considering I suffer every day with pain from my body breaking down on me.

    I am grateful for my wife. I would not be here if it was not for her helping to keep me alive and making me want to stay around for her. She makes me feel loved. She deserves a stove and refrigerator that works but I just cannot afford to buy them right now.

    It is amazing how other people can legally take your hard-earned money and then give you a lame excuse to keep the money you need just to live a simple, everyday Life.

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970

  8. Gordon Wright
    May 22nd, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Glendora and Gordon Wright

    Esquire Hogan,

    I sent a copy of my SSA Disability letter to Dave. Can you tell me why my money was taken?

    I never received advance moneys from any Pension I worked for before becoming Disabled. I had no income from April 2005 to February 2006 because I was told that SSA Disabilty had a waiting period. My wife and my mother supported me until I was finally given some of the money I earned. They withheld the lump sum payment in 2006. They finally decided they would give me my earned money with one letter and then with the second letter, they took all my waiting period money away with a lame excuse.

    Can you tell me why from a legal standpoint?

    Gordon Wright
    Philadelphia Eagles & New York Jets
    1967 – 1970