By Danny Picard
FOXBORO -- As he will do with every team, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will meet with the Patriots Thursday at Gillette Stadium to discuss the decertification process in the case of a potential lockout after this season.
And as expected, the players are looking forward to giving their unanimous consent.
"Anytime you have the leadership here and in place, they're here to deliver a message, and to let the guys know what they're thinking, and what we're all thinking, and what we need to be planning for, and what we need to do," said Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light. "So it should be very informative. That's their job, to inform guys of the upcoming battle and what to expect. I think a lot of these guys have been waiting for this for a while. So it's good they're here, and it will be a good meeting."
Light spoke prior to the meeting on Thursday and talked about some of the things that would be brought up. One of his biggest issues, right now, is the players' input, or lack thereof, on fines and suspensions for on-field actions.
"Fairness is a concern," said Light. "I mean, you've got to make sure that these things are fair, that they're measurable, that you can judge them, that it's not just one person's opinion. You have to be able to measure these things up against something else."
Light said the appeal process needs to be fixed, and that the players' union should have more say before the penalty is final.
"One of the biggest problems, the problem I've always had with the whole system, is that they take the money out before you actually have a chance to appeal, or go through an appeal process," said Light. "So that is something that we'll have to address. That's something that definitely needs to be tightened up, and we'll see how it goes from there.
"You can't take a guy's money before he's been found guilty, or had a chance to appeal a decision that's been made," he added. "If it was a drug policy, if a guy gets fined due to drug policy, that money's not removed until the final verdict's come down and that they've had a chance to appeal. It should be the same process with what happens on the field. It's just not, right now."
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comdannypicard