DeMaurice Smith will remain executive director of the NFL Players Association for a third term after he was re-elected on Sunday night. According to Pro Football Talk, Smith was elected on the first ballot, meaning he received at least 17 of 32 votes during the first wave of voting.
Smith, who was first elected to head the NFLPA in 2009, was one of nine final candidates. The first wave of voting did not take long as the 32 player reps took less than 20 minutes to vote and re-elect Smith. According to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, each of the nine candidates gave a final pitch before the voting began. Jason Belser was considered by many to be the strongest opponent. He served as the senior director of player services for the NFLPA before being nominated to run against Smith, his boss.
While Smith has received criticism -- including on the current collective bargaining agreement that some feel heavily favors the owners -- NFL player salaries are on the rise. Nearly $1.4 billion worth of contracts were handed out during the first four days of free agency, including more than $600 million in guaranteed money. Those deals likely helped his candidacy. According to Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports, Smith also received court credit for the NFLPA winning grievances against the NFL for Adrian Peterson and Ray Rice.
Smith's re-election means another three-year term as the head of the NFLPA. The current collective bargaining agreement doesn't not expire until 2020. He will be up for re-election again in 2018.