INDIANAPOLIS – While the sports world has reached a major hiatus, the NFL has assured itself of labor peace for the next decade.
Players voted on the new CBA over the past week and a narrow margin (1,019 to 959) in favor of approval was the result.
On Sunday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released the following statement on the new CBA:
“We are pleased that the players have voted to ratify the proposed new CBA, which will provide substantial benefits to all current and retired players, increase jobs, ensure continued progress on player safety, and give our fans more and better football. We appreciate the tireless efforts of the members of the Management Council Executive Committee and the NFLPA leadership, both of whom devoted nearly a year to detailed, good faith negotiations to reach this comprehensive, transformative agreement.”
Here are some of the major changes:
- The new CBA runs through the 2030 season, avoiding a possible lockout next spring, when the current CBA was due to end.
- Starting as early as 2020, each conference will have an additional playoff team, increasing the postseason to 14 total members (7 in each conference). That means only 1 bye in each conference. The NFL is expected to hold 6 total games now on Wild Card weekend, with the seeding as followed: No. 2 vs. No. 7, No. 3 vs. No. 6, No. 4 vs. No. 5.
- Starting as early as 2021, the NFL regular season is expected to add an additional game. A 17-game schedule does have a question on where that extra game is played, and who it will be against. The league must sift through those questions to make sure each conference has as even of a playing field as possible.
- An added game to the regular season does mean the preseason is expected to shorten from 4 games to 3 (rejoice!), again not likely until 2021 at the earliest.
- Benefits have increased for current and retired players, as well as pensions. Players’ share from revenue could climb to 48.5 percent, depending on how the new TV deals look.
- Teams can only use the franchise tag or the transition tag in the 2020 offseason. This is a disadvantage to teams like Dallas or Tennessee, who have two marquee players headed for free agency (Dallas: Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper; Tennessee: Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry).
- Minimum contracts for players are expected to increase by about $10,000. Rosters will expand, too, from 53 to 55 on the active weekly roster, from 46 to 48 dressing on game day, and practice squads increasing from 10 to 12 members this year, with an expected bump to 14 in 2022 (with bigger salaries for P.S. members, too).
- The new CBA is expected to eliminate suspensions for positive marijuana tests.
- Training Camp practices will continue to involve less contact. The number of padded practices will shrink majorly from 28 to 16, with time on field also dropping to 2.5 hours for a practice.
A 51.5% to 48.5% vote is going to lead to a lot of differing opinions from the final verdict: pic.twitter.com/sd77VGAAKH
— Kevin Bowen (@KBowen1070) March 15, 2020