UA-59049186-1 NFLPA Votes Yes on New CBA - Good if it Goes

NFLPA Votes Yes on New CBA

Programming note: We’ll recap the free agency happenings either later today or tomorrow. I wanted to get to this first, now that I’ve had a chance to really look at the new deal.

Saturday night, the NFLPA voted yes on a new CBA that runs through 2030. The vote was very close – 1019 to 959, with roughly 600 players not voting. The biggest change and the one people are focusing the most on is the addition of a 17th regular season game. What the CBA actually says is that the owners have the option to add a 17th game starting in 2021, but it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t exercise that option. What’s not clear is if the owners have the option to revert back to 16 games if there are undesired effects. I highly doubt they would actually go back since the end goal here appears to be to get to an 18-game regular season, but I still wonder if they have the option. If (read: when) the league goes to a 17-game regular season, the pre-season will go down to 3 games, with a bye week replacing the fourth pre-season game. There will still only be one bye week during the regular season.

The players increased their share of the revenue split from 47 to 48 percent, and assuming that the league does go to 17 games, the players’ cut will be even higher. Depending on the new TV deal, the players’ number could be anywhere from 48.5-48.8%. The playoffs will expand from 12 to 14 teams starting with the 2020 season; that wasn’t a collectively bargained issue.

Players’ minimum salaries will increase to $1 million per year by 2029 and there are no more suspensions for positive marijuana tests – both wins for the players. In addition, teams can only hold 16 padded practices during training camp and 14 during the regular season, and 11 of those 14 must be held during the first 11 weeks of the season. Rosters will expand from 53 to 55 players, with the two new slots being active on game day. Practice quads will expand to 12 players in 2021 and then 14 in 2022 and beyond. 2-4 of the spots will have no limit on the number of seasons the player has played.

The one big loss for the players is how holdouts will be handled. Any player who doesn’t report to camp on time or leaves the team without permission for more than five days loses the ability to count that season toward the number of accrued seasons he’s played.

allen robinson

Allen Robinson has been outspoken in his stance against the new CBA (Bleacher Report)

So is this a good deal for the players? Hard to say; it depends on who you ask. Allen Robinson has been outspoken against the deal. Mitch Unrein also spoke out against it on Twitter and he’s not exactly one of the game’s top guys or top earners. Most of the league’s rank-and-file seems to like it, though. There’s the possibility that this was as good of a deal as the players were going to get. At the same time, adding games to the regular season without adding another bye week, eliminating the franchise and transition tag entirely, or getting contracts guaranteed seems like a loss to me. At the very least, they should’ve gotten a second bye week. The 10-year term seems less than ideal as well. We’ll see what happens with the new TV deal and if it reaches the threshold to trigger the increase to 48.8% for the players. The NFLPA is planning for the number to be 48.5%.

If there are any questions about the new deal or NFL/sports business as a whole, my Twitter is just below this paragraph. If there are enough questions, I’ll put them into a mailbag post.

Twitter: @KSchroeder_312


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