T.J. Watt is not the most active social media user, as those who follow him are probably aware. It’s rare for him to make more than one comment in a single day, for example. But he took the time to send out a retweet of something that his brother, J.J. Watt, wrote yesterday.
Given the context, it’s a pretty momentous one. the NFLPA is scheduled to discuss the already-NFL-approved proposal for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. It’s believed that a vote from the entire NFLPA body of nearly 2000 members could take place today.
The Watts, at least currently, don’t sound as though they intend to vote for it. “Hard no on that proposed CBA”, J.J. Watt wrote on Twitter. The message was retweeted by T.J., the Pittsburgh Steelers’ team MVP, and a first-team All-Pro, second runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. J.J., of course, is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and arguably one of the most influential players in the league.
Hard no on that proposed CBA.
— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 21, 2020
Of course, before the entire NFLPA body can vote on the proposal, it has to be approved by a two-thirds majority of the 32 player representatives, one for each team. The Steelers’ player representative, for some time, has been veteran guard Ramon Foster, the longest-tenured player on the roster short of Ben Roethlisberger.
At least publicly, he is trying limit his hand. He retweeted a journalist commenting on the proposal by claiming it’s one of the worst deals for players in the country. He asked him what should be expected from it, and followed up when questioned by stating, “I have no opinion right now”.
I’m not saying anything. I have no opinion right now. This needs to be thoroughly hashed out. I’d just like to see what someone who’s seen these deals for years expect. That’s all
— Ramon Foster (@RamonFoster) February 21, 2020
He will be one of the 32 players forming the NFLPA’s collective opinion later today before it potentially is passed on to the entire dues-paying base of the union. Needless to say, the stakes are high, and the reality is that nothing is done until it’s actually done.
This is one of the most dramatic negotiations in many years, at least in terms of its implications, even if it hasn’t been publicly contentious. The proposal on the table expands the regular season for the first time in nearly 50 years, long before every single player in the NFL was born—at least now that Adam Vinatieri has retired.
I would frankly love to pick Foster’s brain on this topic and get his opinion on the proposal. He was one of few players on the team—really, around the league—who were around for the last round of negotiations.
You might recall that the Steelers were the only player body out of all 32 teams who did not approve of the current CBA that is in place, and runs through the 2020 season. Only a majority vote is required for approval in that round, however. We will see how the day unfolds. I don’t envy the position the player representatives especially are in.