NFL players have voted to approve the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement, meaning there will be labor peace for the next 10 years.
Not to mention an expanded schedule and playoff field.
While players voted to approve the new CBA, it was even closer than expected. According to the NFLPA, the new CBA passed by a margin of 1,019 to 959. So the new CBA will go into effect immediately, but nearly 50 percent of NFL players won't be happy about it.
Here's what commissioner Roger Goodell said about thew ratification of the new deal:
"We are pleased that the players have voted to ratify the proposed new CBA, which will provide substantial benefits to all current and retired players, increase jobs, ensure continued progress on player safety, and give our fans more and better football. We appreciate the tireless efforts of the members of the Management Council Executive Committee and the NFLPA leadership, both of whom devoted nearly a year to detailed, good faith negotiations to reach this comprehensive, transformative agreement. "
The new CBA could spur some action throughout the NFL. With the Eagles, it could possibly give them an option to release Alshon Jeffery with a post-June 1 designation. Without a CBA, they wouldn't have been able to do it because there technically wasn't a tomorrow. With a CBA in place, they have that option and would be able to spread out the cap hit over two years.
But this CBA will also have a major impact on the entire league as a whole. Here are a few of the biggest changes:
- A 17-game schedule will be coming, possibly as soon as 2021. This was a major sticking point for the NFL and it seemed like it was always going to happen.
- The playoff system will be expanded to 14 teams, seven from each conference. This also means just the top seed in each conference will get a bye week in the first round of the playoffs.
- In return, players will get a larger piece of the pie. Their share of revenue will rise from 47% to 48% and can still get higher than that.
- Minimum salaries for players will also increase.
- Game-day rosters will expand from 46 to 48 players, rosters will expand from 53 to 55 and practice squads will expand from 10 to 12.
- Teams are no longer allowed to use two tags in the same offseason. The previous CBA allowed for a team to use a franchise tag and a transition tag. This change is bad news for the Cowboys, who don't have Dak Prescott or Amari Cooper locked up. Now, they'll have to try to tag one and sign the other to a long-term deal and soon.
The new salary cap in 2020 is set at $198.2 million. The good folks at OverTheCap had projected the #Eagles to have $41.8M in cap space based on a $200M cap. So figure on around $40M now.
— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) March 15, 2020
Now, we'll wait to see what this means for the start date of the new league year. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk reported that the NFL was thinking about possibly delaying the start of the league year because of the spread of coronavirus but wanted to wait until after the NFLPA voted on the new CBA. For now, the league year is scheduled to start on March 18 and the legal tampering window is scheduled for March 16 at noon.
But with so many teams operating remotely and with the difficulty of having face-to-face meetings, many think it would be wise to delay. We'll know soon enough.
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