How new CBA impacts Tom Brady, Patriots contract negotiations

Justin Leger
NBC Sports Boston

The NFL's new collective bargaining agreement passed Sunday, sparking polarizing reactions from players across the league.

Within the new CBA are several significant changes. Here are some of the most notable developments:

  • A 17-game regular season starting as early as 2021.

  • Three preseason games instead of four.

  • Increase in the players' revenue share from 47 percent to 48.5 percent.

  • Narrowing the window for drug testing from four months to two weeks at the start of training camp, and reducing the number of players who are subjected to testing.

  • Reduced penalties for positive marijuana tests.

  • Expanded roster sizes from 53 players to 55.

  • Playoff field expands from six teams per conference to seven. Only the top seed in each conference earns a bye week.

While all of those will impact the league at large for the next 10 years, Patriots fans may be primarily focused on how the new CBA affects Tom Brady's chances of re-signing in New England.

It certainly improved the Patriots' odds of inking the 42-year-old QB to a new deal. That's because by agreeing on a new CBA before the start of the new league year, teams won't have to deal with salary cap restrictions when signing players this offseason. Instead, teams can include voidable contract years to make it easier to sign players with large cap hits, such as Brady.

Now, if the Patriots are so inclined, they could offer Brady a more lucrative deal than what they would have been able to offer had a CBA not been in place before March 18.

New England likely will still have plenty of competition for Brady's services once he officially hits the open market. The Las Vegas Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Los Angeles Chargers are among teams rumored to be in the mix.

The Tennessee Titans, however, appear to be out of the Brady sweepstakes as they're working to re-sign QB Ryan Tannehill.

How new CBA impacts Tom Brady, Patriots contract negotiations originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

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