Though the current collective bargaining agreement isn’t set to expire until March 2021, the NFL and NFL Players Association have been holding talks to work toward negotiating a new CBA for months.
Not surprisingly, the economics are a major issue.
On Thursday, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith sent an email to all players outlining the issues that are preventing a deal.
‘We cannot recommend that we should accept a deal’
In the email, Smith highlighted seven “major issues,” and wrote that they “are significant enough that we cannot recommend to our membership that we should accept a deal in this state at this time.”
The issues he mentioned:
The maximum percentage of revenue that players could receive each year in salaries and benefits;
Minimum cash spending requirements for each club and league-wide;
The continuation of — and ultimately an increase of — the NFLPA Legacy Fund, which under the current CBA retroactively increased pensions for pre-1993 players through contributions of active players and NFL ownership;
Greater increases for individual minimum salaries;
Removing the Escrow Requirement/Funding Rule as a barrier to guaranteed contracts;
Rules for players drafted in the first round and for restricted free agents;
NFL-proposed liability waiver
The liability waiver is of particularly interest; Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk noted that it was proposed by the NFL for on-field injuries. A source told Florio the waiver is a “non-starter.”
If it’s a waiver similar to the one the NFL wanted Colin Kaepernick to sign in November — the waiver that in part led to that workout with NFL representatives being nixed by Kaepernick — it’s almost impossible to see the NFLPA ever agreeing to it.
One other big note: The NFL’s CBA proposals are based on a 17-game regular season; the NFLPA wants to keep the regular season at 16 games.
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