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NFLPA Leader: Union Will Tell Free Agents Not To Sign With Bears If Illinois Passes Proposed Bill

Chicago Bears News

NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith pulled no punches about a possible new law in Illinois this afternoon in a radio interview with Matt Spiegel and Danny Parkins on WSCR 670-AM in Chicago, and this was the most prominent line:

You can listen to the entire interview here, as it is embedded in Chris Emma’s story on CBS Chicago. And you can read about the referenced bill here.


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At its core, the bill — originally introduced by State Senator Michael Connelly and sponsored by Senate Republican Leader Christina Radogno — would reduce certain workers’ compensation benefits for professional athletes at age 35. Most Illinois workers who are injured can claim such benefits until age 67. Rich Miller’s Capitol Fax blog provided some background on the issue on Jan. 25.

For what it’s worth, it’s possible that nothing happens with this bill, as Springfield is in gridlock. The bipartisan grand bargain (which you can read about here) that is supposed to help put a budget in place in Illinois has recently hit pause.

The Bears issued a statement in the wake of Smith’s radio interview:

This situation could be worth monitoring for both the sports and political landscape. Especially considering how much money the Bears are projected to have this offseason and the number of holes the team has to fill en route to being competitive.


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For what it’s worth, Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly sees one problem in Smith’s strong statement.

Perhaps this will prove to be little more than bluster in the end. But the Bears certainly don’t need any politically-created impediments to improving their roster.


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Luis Medina

Luis is the Lead Writer at The Ten-Yard Line, and you can find him on Twitter at @lcm1986.


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