It seems as though in an instant, the Collective Bargaining Agreement talks have been put on the fast track toward approval, though there is still work to be done. While the owners are expected to gather for a meeting today, during which they may vote to approval the current proposal that they have on the table, the NFLPA will not be discussing the matter until tomorrow, in part due to issues assembling all player representatives for 32 teams.
According to ESPN, they intend to hold a conference call instead, and it’s a possibility that at the end of the line, they will hold a vote as to whether or not to approve the offer on the tackle. Two thirds of the 32 player representatives must approve of the proposal, at which point it would be passed on for a majority vote among all NFLPA dues-paying members.
The article notes that players were very strongly opposed to the 17-game schedule that the NFL appears to be dead-set on, but it seems as though a fatalistic mindset has taken place, and the players have instead turned their focus toward getting as much as they can in compensation for the extra game to be played.
It had previously been reported that the league may try to wield its might, leaving the proposal on the table as is and choosing to walk away, or even suspend negotiations, if the NFLPA balks, but it seems as though instead the NFL has been willing to sweeten the pot, in the hopes of getting the deal done in time for the start of the new league year, which begin in a little under a month’s time.
All 32 owners have a vested interest in getting the new CBA in place in time for mid-March, because they are currently in the final year of the current CBA, which comes with certain limitations about how they can manage their roster, and their finances. Teams closer to the salary cap like the Pittsburgh Steelers would be most affected.
Among the concessions that the players appear to be in-line to get is, of course, a raise. It is believed that their revenue share will jump from 47 percent to 48.5 percent once the 17-game schedule is implemented, shifting large amounts of money into their hands. They also have pushed for a roughly 25 percent raise in the minimum salary, which will be great for all the fringe players on the roster.
It remains to be seen, of course, whether or not this actually gets done in time. I still think it’s beyond hypocritical for the league to put its foot down on the 17-game schedule while pretty much denying the player safety part of the conversation, but it doesn’t seem as though the players can afford not to back down, whether they do it now or in October of 2020 when the games are not being played.