2021 NFL Work Stoppage 'Virtually Certain,' According to NFLPA Director
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 27: Commissioner of the National Football League, Roger Goodell visits SiriusXM NFL Radio during the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft at Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Even though it’s a few years away, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith expects the NFL to have a “strike or a lockout” in 2021. 

Is it time to start preparing for a fall without football?

It might be, according to NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith. He told Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated‘s MMQB that a work stoppage in 2021 is looking more and more likely.

“I think that the likelihood of either a strike or a lockout is almost a virtual certainty.”

There’s still a lot of time between now and then but there are many issues that the NFL and the NFLPA have with one another that will create issues during negotiations.

Players have been reacting to the massive contracts NBA players have been receiving and have been making noise about wanting richer contracts. The owners will not want to increase payroll, partially due to the greater injury risk that NFL players carry as opposed to NBA players.

Any athlete can get injured, but football is a far more physical game than basketball. Owners will not want to make the same investments that the NBA owners can make.

Other issues include guaranteed contracts and the amount of power that Roger Goodell has in the suspension process. There is a large amount of ground that needs to be covered in negotiations and it looks exceedingly less likely that it will happen without some sort of stop in play.

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