The Pittsburgh Steelers are now into the offseason, following a year in which they had high hopes for Super Bowl success, but ultimately fell short of even reaching the postseason at 8-8. It was a tumultuous season, both on the field and within the roster, and the months to follow figure to have some drama as well, especially in light of the team’s failure to improve upon the year before.
The team made some bold moves over the course of the past year, and some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago, or even at the start of the regular season. Whether due to injuries or otherwise, a lot has transpired, and we’re left to wonder how much more will change prior to September.
How will Ben Roethlisberger’s rehab progress as he winds toward recovery from an elbow injury that cost him almost the entire season? What about some of the key young players, some of whom have already impressed, others still needing quite a bit of growth? Will there be changes to the coaching staff? The front office? Who will they not retain in free agency, and whom might they bring in?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Will the owners come back to the negotiating table for the new CBA?
As you might have heard, the NFL and the NFLPA are (potentially) nearing the finish line on the latest CBA. It could be agreed to in full as early as tomorrow. The league has agreed to meet the NFLPA reps tomorrow at the NFL Scouting Combine, but the nature of that meeting is unclear.
When the league owners voted (NOT unanimously, which is significant) to approve the current proposal last week, they did so while also passing notice that this will be the only version of the CBA, which has been negotiated between the two parties for many months, they will entertain.
Otherwise they intend to sit on their hands and run the 2020 season out under the previous CBA, which is the last year through which it was scheduled to run. The argument they presented is that teams need to know under what principles they are doing business, and it’s getting very late in the process to start making important decisions.
The question that remains is whether or not the message from the NFL was a threat or a promise. The NFLPA clearly wants to get a little more bang for its buck if it’s going to be forced to play an extra game. The NFL doesn’t want to give any more, has already signed off, without unanimity, on what it’s willing to give up, and may well flex its muscles on this own, calling the NFLPA’s bluff that the players will vote to pass it anyway without any further perks.