The NFL CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) has now been voted on by the NFLPA (NFL Players Association) and ratified through 2030. The margin was a close 60 votes with 1,019 approving, and 959 voting no.
NFL Owners approved the new CBA back on February 20th, and that came after long negotiations with the Players Association. A major delay occurred when after the owners approved the CBA, the NFLPA executive committee voted 6-5 not to give it over to their membership for a vote.
On February 25th, the NFLPA met with the NFL Management Executives, and after a close vote of 17-14, the new CBA was finally sent to the players for a vote on March 5th.
ESPN Senior NFL Analyst Adam Schefter shared the news on social media, and as you can imagine, reactions to the news are still mixed among both players, and fans. All you have to do is a simple search for "NFL CBA" on Twitter, for example, and you'll see a plethora of reactions.
New NFL CBA - Notable Changes
- Two more teams (12 to 14) added to the playoff picture beginning in 2020
- Option to increase the number of games to 17 starting in 2021
- Increases in minimum salaries (20% raise)
- Performance-based pay and player revenue
- 1 Bye per conference
- Preseason reduced from four games to three games
- Revenue splits will be 48% to players, 52% to owners (pending media deals)
- Eliminated suspensions for positive marijuana tests
- Rosters expanded from 52 to 55 players
- Practice squad increased from 10 to 12 players
- Fifth-year options for first-rounders become fully guaranteed and becomes the average of the Top 10 salaries at the given positions
- Increase in benefits and pension for retired players
- Decrease in padded practices at training camps, down from 28 to 16. Padded practices also decrease from three hours to 2.5 hours.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement after the CBA was ratified.
"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. We understand and know that players have been split on this deal, including members of our EC. Going forward, it is our duty to lead, however we may feel as individuals, to bring our men together and to continue to represent the interests of our entire membership."
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo weighed in on the new CBA, specific changes, and the overall feel among players. Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Sam Ocho also shared his thoughts on the CBA on social media.
The main concern among players seems to have been a question of whether or not they would get enough in the deal to justify the addition of a 17th game. Ocho spoke about how this deal gives an 11-year peace in the NFL.
Overall, the deal is good for the players and great for the fans. As fascinating as the intricacies of the new CBA are, in the end, fans just want to watch football in 2020 and beyond.