Amidst near complete uncertainty in all sports, we have some positive news. Football will continue through the 2030 season with the players voting to ratify the proposed collective bargaining agreement.
The new CBA had been a controversial topic since its proposal, with many of the sport’s top players voicing strong disapproval. The vote reflected that divide, with the final tally coming to 1,019 ‘yes’ votes to 959 ‘no’ votes.
Here are a few key changes that take effect under the new CBA:
- One franchise tag or one transition tag will be usable going forward
- The regular season will increase to 17 games
- The playoffs will feature an additional team in each conference, meaning that only the #1 seed gets a bye week
- Active rosters will increase to 55 players from the current 53
- Padded practices will decrease in time limit from the previous 3 hours to 2.5, and will decrease in number during training camp from 28 to 16
- There will be a reduction in penalties for players testing positive for THC and suspensions based solely on positive tests will be eliminated
- Retired players will see some increases to their benefits and pensions
- League minimum salaries performance-based pay will increase
There are certainly mixed opinions of this deal, and it is certainly in the favor of owners to pass a deal that expands the season further. It also seems that there are significant benefits going to players on the low end of the pay scale, as well as to retired players.
Aaron Rodgers spoke out pretty strongly against the deal last week, questioning whether many of the players even looked at it.
“Unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it, for the people wanting to push this deal through so badly, that’s kind of a win because nobody’s critically looking at this or thinking about it. They’re just like, ‘Oh, what’s my salary going to be? Oh, OK, cool.’ Not like, ‘Are we taking care of former players? What kind of additional player risks are we taking on? What are we getting in return for that?'”
Maurkice Pouncey launched into a profanity-laced tirade about the whole thing last week, making his feelings eminently clear on the topic.
Maurkice Pouncey is strongly against the CBA. He posted this (NSFW) a couple hours ago:
“I vote no. Our NFLPA, the dudes at the top, the leaders, that’s f’ing bs. F that. They’re not looking out for the best of the players. If y’all want my vote, the Pouncey twins vote no.” pic.twitter.com/hp4AqlG7Qu
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) February 26, 2020
The reaction of many players after the vote was announced was one of frustration:
So weak fam, dudes wanna vote outta fear. It really show where dudes head at
— Allen Robinson II (@AllenRobinson) March 15, 2020
…We made positive strides in this deal for current and former players, even though we didn’t achieve all of our goals. As an Executive Committee member I’ll continue to lead to ensure we maximize our gains and improve our benefits process.” (2/2)
— Sal Capaccio 🏈 (@SalSports) March 15, 2020
For those wanting FACTS why this CBA deal was DISASTER, read this memo from my lawyers. Remember, we were sent the email to vote on the new CBA proposal on 3/5. I posted the memo on 3/9. 2 hours later @NFLPA sent comparison of this CBA to last CBA to members for the first time! pic.twitter.com/k7CxDCJmE1
— Eric Reid (@E_Reid35) March 15, 2020
Exactly fam 🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/UMSgfjkX6F
— Josh Jacobs (@iAM_JoshJacobs) March 15, 2020
🤬 it time to start load management 🙂
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) March 15, 2020
It was inevitable that there would be strong opinions on both sides, but in all, this deal seems to be one that benefits both sides. As fans we can take comfort in knowing that, while there is so much that is in question about the sports landscape in the immediate future, the long-term future of football is not in jeopardy.