FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots will have their meeting with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith today. Part of Smith’s visit will include a vote to decertify should there be a lockout next year.
As for Smith’s visit there are plenty of things on the agenda but it is also a chance to update players on the newest developments said offensive lineman Matt Light, who is the Patriots player representative.
“Anytime you have the leadership here and in place and they’re here to deliver a message to let the guys know what they’re thinking and what we’re all thinking of what we need to be planning for and what we need to do,” Light said. “So it should be very informative. And that’s there job to inform guys of the upcoming battle and what to expect so I think a lot of these guys have been waiting for this for a while so it’s good they’re here. It will be a good meeting.”
One of the most recent issues affecting players is the league’s increased financial penalty for illegal hits and the process for paying fines.
“I think fairness is a concern,” Light said. “You got to make sure these things are fair and that they’re measurable and you can judge them and they’re not just one person’s opinion. You have to be able to measure these things against something else.
“I think that’s the biggest concern and at the end of the day it’s player safety is another huge concern, so it’s a fine line and I’m sure they’ll find a system that works the best,” he said. “Ithink one of the biggest problems is — and the problem I’ve always had with the whole system — is that they take the money out before you actually have the chance to appeal or have the chance to go through an appeal process so that is something that we’ll have to address. That’s something that definitely needs to be tightened up.”
Light continued: “You can’t take a guys money before he’s been found guilty or had a chance to appeal a decision that’s been made. If a guy gets fined due to drug policy, that money is not removed until the final verdict has come down and they have had a chance to appeal and it should be the same process in what happens on the field. It’s just not right now.”