NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee center Kevin Mawae was elected president of the NFL Players Association on Wednesday, the final day of a four-day meeting in Hawaii.
Mawae, a 14-year veteran, had been on the union's executive committee for the past six years. He replaces Troy Vincent, whose term recently ended and who last played for Buffalo before retiring. Mawae called his election by the player representatives an honor with serious issues looming.
"The players are well informed of the potential cancellation of the CBA by the owners. They are committed to doing what it takes to preserve our game," he said in a statement.
The union also elected Domonique Foxworth of Denver, Drew Brees of New Orleans and Mike Vrabel of New England as new members of the executive committee. Re-elected were: Brian Dawkins (Philadelphia), Jeff Saturday (Indianapolis), Mark Bruener (Houston), Tony Richardson (Jets), Kevin Carter (Tampa Bay), Keenan McCardell (free agent) and Donovin Darius (free agent).
Executive director Gene Upshaw called Mawae's election a great choice.
"Kevin has always displayed leadership in his role as a player rep and an executive committee member. I look forward to working with Kevin and the new executive committee members to move forward with the initiatives set forth by the board of player reps in our meetings," Upshaw said.
Mawae said on NFLPA.com that he sees the collective bargaining agreement as the most pressing issue for players considering what owners are saying about their dislike for the agreement.
"That is of most importance, because the players need to know what they are facing and also how to react. In the end, it goes back to educating players of our past, how we've accomplished what we've gotten and having a plan for taking care of our business," Mawae said.
Mawae said educating players, especially the younger players, will be important. He believes it's important for players to know the history of the union and understand what has happened in the past when salary caps were $30 million per team.
"Knowledge is power, and that's what has helped us with the success that we've had as a union throughout the years. I look forward to this next round of negotiations, whenever that might take place. It's always interesting to see how it works out, but from the vantage point that we're at right now, it's going to be a lot different view than what it has been in the past," Mawae said.
Mawae joined the Titans in 2006 and has played for the New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks. He received a master's degree in sports management in 2006.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press