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Ravens K, Stover, Plots to give Upshaw the BOOT!

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  • Ravens K, Stover, Plots to give Upshaw the BOOT!

    An effort to oust Gene Upshaw as the NFL Players Association Executive Director became evident Monday, when veteran Baltimore Ravens kicker Matt Stover e-mailed a plan to fellow player representatives to have a new union boss in place by March 2009.

    Stover's Letter to NFLPA

    Ravens kicker Matt Stover's e-mailed plan to fellow NFL player representatives detailing a plan to have a successor to union president Gene Upshaw in place by 2009. Letter

    In his e-mail, a copy of which has been obtained by ESPN, Stover revealed a conference call among player reps on Friday in which he said, "I was on that conference call and I am not the only rep who listened and felt that it is time for a change."

    Upshaw said Tuesday morning that he was aware of Stover's e-mail but read it for the first time when ESPN forwarded him a copy. Upshaw's contract runs through 2010, but he said Tuesday he told player representatives at their annual meeting in Maui in March that with a looming labor confrontation with NFL owners, "I would never leave until this deal is done."

    Tuesday, Upshaw said, "Obviously, there's a group that feels we need to have a change now."

    As for Stover's e-mail, Upshaw said Tuesday: "Matt Stover has no clue. Whoever is pulling his chain is doing a disservice to the union. I could understand the idea that they need to get rid of me if I wasn't doing a good job but, shoot, the owners are mad because they think I've done too good of a job."

    Upshaw confirmed that hints of a movement ultimately to change the union leadership were in play at the March meetings in Maui. An effort by one coalition of players to get Philadelphia Eagles safety Brian Dawkins elected as the new NFL Players Association president fell short when Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae was voted as its new active-players leader, according to player sources. Mawae is believed to be a supporter of Upshaw.

    Dawkins had the backing of former NFLPA president Troy Vincent, who was no longer eligible for the position because he was not an active player. Several player sources have said Vincent is regarded as a political force within the ranks of the players and desires to replace Upshaw one day.

    There has been no specific reason cited for the latest move to oust Upshaw, and Vincent has yet to be reached for comment.

    Stover also could not be reached for immediate comment.

    Chris Mortensen covers the NFL for ESPN.

    Last edited by Jack Daniels; 04-08-2008, 11:08 AM.

  • #2
    What's surprising is that he kept his job after the last CBA was signed. NFL players get the worst deal in pro sports.
    On my mind: How can I shut up the singing English graduate student? How many more lossess will KU's basketball team have than its football team? How will the Rams front office screw up this year?

    Official lounge sponsor of Will Witherspoon, Russell Robinson, and all other things Jayhawk at the lounge (which ain't much).