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Cornwell criticizes NFLPA's Smith in memo to agents

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By PFW staff

David Cornwell sent a letter to agents criticizing NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith, according to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora.

Smith's contract is up in March, and Cornwell, an attorney, made his case to agents against renewing Smith's contract. Cornwell opposed Smith for the job after Gene Upshaw died in 2008.

Among his criticisms, Cornwell points out various economic issues in the new Collective Bargaining Agreement and how the NFLPA handled Terrelle Pryor's eligibility for the supplemental draft. Pryor received a five-game suspension shortly after the Raiders drafted him. Cornwell also took issue with what he sees as the NFLPA's lax enforcement of the poaching of clients by rival agents.

"Despite my greatest hopes, my personal experience reveals that (Smith's) vision in 2008 was little more than an inside Washington political campaign — high on style, low on substance," Cornwell wrote, according to La Canfora. "(His) grandiose pronouncements did not translate into meaningful progress in the business of playing football. Rather than advancing the partnership between players and team owners, the new 10 year CBA relegated NFL players' status to mere employees."

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