Robinson: Ex-Aliquippa, Pitt star looking to unseat NFLPA chief
Sean Gilbert, the former Aliquippa High and Pitt star, tore through opposing offensive linemen for 42 1⁄2 sacks during his NFL career.
At age 43, he'd like one more: A sacking of NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith, who was reappointed to a second three-year term in 2012. Smith's reappointment came months after he negotiated a labor deal that is widely seen today as overwhelmingly favoring the owners.
“(The labor deal) was a home run, and (the NFL owners) all view it as a home run,” Pittsburgh-based sports agent Ralph Cindrich said.
Gilbert certainly believes so. He is the first candidate to actively campaign for the NFLPA job, which can't be filled again until 2015 — five years before the current labor deal ends. As part of his push, Gilbert wrote a 23,000-word e-book “The $29 Million ‘Tip': How Roger Goodell Earned His Big Payday” that can be purchased on Amazon as a download for $7.19.
Based on that price, Gilbert must sell 403,380 copies to match Goodell's salary during that labor deal year of 2011.
Gilbert was known as a tough negotiator during a career that lasted from 1992-2003, even sitting out the 1997 season during a contract dispute with the Redskins. The Carolina Panthers later gave up two first-round draft picks and a $46.5 million contract to get Gilbert; at the time, it was the largest deal given to a defensive lineman.
Gilbert is taking his candidacy seriously. He told the Wall Street Journal that he plans to give a copy of his book to every current NFL player and write an individual note to each player.
Smith wasn't challenged upon reelection in 2012, although sports lawyer David Cornwell urged players to take a close look at Smith's work. Cornwell later became the executive director of the NFL Coaches Association.
In his e-book, Gilbert contends:
• The Players Association gave up $4.5 billion in its latest labor deal, which has served to cut significantly the salaries of rookies, trim the value of many experienced players and stabilize the owners-friendly salary cap.
• Goodell owns too much power over player discipline. The Steelers were the only team to vote against ratifying the labor deal, mostly because of the player-discipline issue.
• Smith agreed with salary cap penalties for the Redskins and Cowboys, who spent considerably during the one season there was no salary cap.
Gilbert also wants the union to agree to a 18-game regular season in exchange for owners lowering the waiting period for free agency from four seasons to three.
Gilbert, a coaching intern with the Jets two years ago, serves as an adviser to his nephew, cornerback Darrelle Revis, another former Aliquippa and Pitt star who signed with Tampa Bay this year for $96 million. Gilbert apparently first became interested in the NFLPA job while helping negotiate Revis' contract.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers submit application to play host to Super Bowl in 2023
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- Steelers CB Allen working to regain form, make an impact
- Steelers running back Bell is taking long-term look at his NFL career
- Steelers wide receiver Wheaton embraces move to slot position
- Steelers notebook: Best RB tandem in NFL?
- Australians rule punting competition for chance to play for Steelers
- Steelers’ training camp starts early for Hall of Fame game