Extra Points: Derwin James, NFLPA, Peterson

Lawyer Cyrus Mehri wants to dethrone DeMaurice Smith as the head of the NFL Players’ Association. If elected, he says revamping the league’s discipline policy will be one of the first items on his agenda to be tackled.

If I’m elected, in the first hundred days, I’m going to sit down with the commissioner and top brass and reform this discipline system, so we’ll have checks and balances for when the 2018 season starts up,” Mehri said at a town hall style meeting this week (via Charean Williams of PFT). “My guiding light is this: What’s best for the game? . . . I’ve taken the word ‘concessions’ out of the dialogue, and all we’re going to be talking about is what’s best for the game. What’s best for the game is to reform that system. What’s also best for the game is to dramatically improve the resources particularly at the club level to deal with and minimize and prevent from happening some of these off-the-field issues. Issues of DUIs. Issues of drug abuse. Issues of domestic violence that have kept players from playing, and they’re also human tragedies. So if we really redouble or triple the effort on that, to me, that’s something labor and management should be on the same page on, which is prevention of problems. That’s the difference between me and the incumbent, because the incumbent’s relationship is so poisonous and so contentious [with the NFL] that they can’t be problem-solving, but problem-solving is focusing on prevention of these issues.”

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Scouts see a future NFL superstar in Florida State safety Derwin James, NFL.com’s Chase Goodbread writes. James is only a sophomore, but talent evaluators are drooling over his freakish athleticism. One scout told Goodbread that James has the body type to play “about seven positions.” “I think if you take all the attributes of all the best ones, combine it into one, you’re getting close to Derwin,” FSU strength and conditioning coach Vic Viloria said. “He’s got strength like [Nigel] Bradham. He’s got the desire to chase the deep ball like [Lamarcus] Joyner, competitiveness like Jameis [Winston]. His ability to hit and be strong for a skill player is like Jalen [Ramsey]. … His acceleration is freakish; it’s that of a Devonta Freeman. … You can keep going down the list.”
  • NFL players are anxious for the day that their contracts will be fully guaranteed, as Dave Campbell of The Associated Press writes. “When you think about what we do for our organizations, the injuries and the pounding that we take, you would think that there would be more appreciation for your players,” Saints running back Adrian Peterson said. “It’s just so unfortunate when you think about the physicality and the toll that football takes on your body.” Naturally, this will be another major focal point for the NFLPA in its next round of CBA talks with the league. It’s hard to imagine players getting fully guaranteed deals, but it’s possible that they could have some improved injury protection.
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