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Former Bear, Good Bet To Run The Show

Based on news that had been around for awhile before the passing of Gene Upshaw, I just assumed that former Eagle Troy Vincent seemed the likely choice to replace him when he stepped down.  Then last March Vincent and a group tried to oust Upshaw and his group.  Now that the spot is vacant the list of candidates seems down to two.  the aforementioned Vincent and former Bears defensive end Trace Armstrong.

This from PFT:

Armstrong, as the rumor mill goes, is the preferred choice of current NFLPA interim Executive Director Richard Berthelsen and those aligned with him, including primary outside counsel Jeffrey Kessler. (It doesn’t hurt that Armstrong works at CAA with Tom Condon, Upshaw’s long-time agent.)

And it’s widely believed that the current NFLPA leadership doesn’t want Vincent, given his alleged attempt last March to oust Upshaw — and presumably the rest of the current power structure.

As a result, multiple league insiders and observers expect a smear campaign to be launched against Vincent, in an effort to disqualify him from the process.

One tactic, as we hear it, will be to raise questions about whether Vincent actually received a degree from Wisconsin, presumably because a four-year degree is one of the minimum requirements for the position.

There’s also a belief in some circles that the NFLPA will try to pin on Vincent the interest of Congress in the selection process. We’re told that at least one member of the NFLPA Executive Committee has said that if any candidate were involved in attracting Congressional attention to the search for a new Executive Director, that candidate will be disqualified.

So if the current NFLPA structure can pin any of this on Vincent, then Vincent presumably will be out, and Armstrong will be in.

The best thing Vincent can do, in our view, is be prepared to counter any and all efforts to defeat his chances at securing the job. The stakes are high, arguably higher than in an election.