The NFL might be in for some big changes, and with such sensitive material, officials have been remaining tight-lipped about the CBA negotiations that might heed them. But
USA today got the inside scoop, thanks to a little promise of anonymity, on the upcoming Friday conference between the NFL Players Association, its executive committee members and 32 player reps who will be voting on newly proposed terms.
In order to avoid a work stoppage, the new CBA must be in place before the start of the 2021 season – but even though it’s in the best interest of the players and thus the owners, there’s no official deadline set. So far, both sides are optimistic that agreements will soon be made on a number of the key aspects of the new CBA. And some changes have already been agreed upon.
Here are the highlights.
An Additional Season Game
There will now be 17 games per season, and the preseason is going to be shortened.
The extra game means that players are going to see raises in their contracts and yearly salaries – overall, the amount that they anticipate will be spent on players now is an additional $5 billion over the next 10 years.
The players’ portion of the revenue pie is going to jump by roughly 1.5 percent which, coupled with projected revenue growth, will translate to an increase of around $5 billion more for players over the life of the new 10-year CBA. The preseason will also be shortened as a result. But all of this is expected to be implemented for the 2021 season.
What could happen sooner?
The 5th-year option in contracts is likely to become a guarantee for signing players. Player benefit packages are in the works to becoming much better – exceeding those of any other sports league. Performance-based payouts are also expected to increase.
All of these changes could potentially be in the works for the 2020 season.
What sticking points still need more work?
The players are still fighting for additional increases to minimum salaries, more physical contact restrictions, and additional rest days built into the training camp schedules – especially with so much light being shed on the risks of wear and tear on the body under the current regulations. Lastly, the players want to get rid of the funding rule, which the owners are fighting – but are talking about making more concessions, which teams have used to try to avoid offering significant future guarantees. The owners do not want to eliminate the rule, but might make concessions.
Stay tuned – Friday could be big.