DeMaurice Smith Says NFL Labor Stoppage Extremely Likely

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 17, 2017

FILE - In this Jan., 2015, file photo, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith speaks during a news conference for the NFL Super Bowl XLIX football game in Phoenix. Smith retained his position as executive director of the NFL players' union in voting Sunday by 32 player representatives. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

NFL players and fans might need to start preparing for a work stoppage when the current collective bargaining agreement ends after the 2020 season.

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith discussed the probability of a strike in an interview with Albert Breer of The MMQB (via Sports Illustrated).

"I think that the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout in 2021 is almost a virtual certainty," Smith said.

After accusing the owners of collusion to hurt the players, Smith described the potential fallout when it's time to negotiate a new CBA.

"We have a new deal where if it doesn't get fixed, you head into a certain 'small a' armageddon," he said.

The last lockout took place in 2011, but an agreement was reached in July and no regular-season games were lost. However, several players have discussed the need to potentially miss games in order to get what they want.

"If we want as the NFL, as a union, to get anything done, players have to be willing to strike," Seattle Seahawks star Richard Sherman said in July, per ESPN. "That's the thing that guys need to 100 percent realize."

Former offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz also recently added his thoughts on what the players need to do, saying, "Sit out games. Plain and simple," via Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman.

Smith noted it was too early to tell if missed games are necessary, but everyone involved should probably start making preparations.