Gene Upshaw is trying to get some retired players who are known to support the current NFLPA Executive Director back into the union to support him as reports about disunity continue to surface. Trace Armstrong has already accepted Upshaw’s invitation. While this may be a good move for Upshaw in his attempt to retain his position, is it really in the best interest of the NFLPA? Will it actually make the union less unified?
Matt Stover’s only comment was that the move was “interesting.” The important quote from Stover is, “We need Gene to be in full authority through the next CBA, even if it means going beyond his current contract. I just think we can have a orderly process that still gets his successor in place without undermining Gene. That’s where my heart is.”
Gene does not want to hear anything about a succession plan, though. And he may need to concede on that point if he truly cares about strengthening the union in preparation for a big battle against NFL owners.
“I’m not sitting here defending Gene Upshaw, but when you have Matt Stover, who is not even the president of the NFLPA — I think, it’s Kevin Mawae — making a decision that we all need to stand behind, it makes us not look like we’re a strong front and shows that we’re divided,” Texans veteran defensive end N.D. Kalu said. “And that doesn’t look good when you’re negotiating, because whoever the NFLPA negotiates against or with, they are going to know we are divided on certain issues.”