- The Washington Times - Monday, March 16, 2009

DeMaurice Smith, the NFLPA’s new executive director, says he will reach out to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as soon as possible to begin negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement.

The Washington D.C.-based attorney on Monday said he planned to call Goodell later in the day, saying, “It’s my hope that our first conversation of the collective bargaining agreement and other issues start today.”

Smith spoke on a telephone conference call with reporters less than 12 hours after he was elected in a vote to succeed the late Gene Upshaw.

In taking over North America’s most powerful sports union, Smith faces numerous challenges, including negotiating a new contract with NFL and healing a rift with some of the league’s retired players.

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