FOXBOROUGH - After negotiations that progressed at a solid clip throughout the NFL off-season so far, the NFL owners and the NFL Players Association came to an agreement yesterday on a new collective bargaining agreement for the league, per NFL.com.
This CBA has put in place labor peace in the sport through to, at the very least, 2030, but the votes were much narrower than many anticipated; 1,019 voters supported the new CBA, while 959 voted no. That's a gap of just 60 people, but it still passed all the same.
There are tons of new additions to the sport in the wake of the CBA, but here are the main highlights:
- The number of teams that make the playoffs will expand by two. Now, only the top seed in each conference will receive a BYE week, as the number two seed will play the newfound number seven seed.
- The regular season will likely make the jump from 16 to 17 games, as early as 2021.
- Beginning next year, players will receive 48% of all revenue, rather than 47%.
- Minimum salaries for the lowest-rated players on the depth chart will increase by 20%, effective immediately. $610,000 will become the new base salary.
- Roster sizes will increase from 46 on the active roster to 48. The team's practice squads will increase from 10 to 12. Beginning in 2022, this will increase to 14.
- Positive marijuana tests will no longer result in suspensions for the players. This is something Rob Gronkowski has advocated for and it could be good news for Josh Gordon's potential return, as well.
One other interesting wrinkle to the CBA is that it seems to point towards an increased likelihood that Tom Brady will return to the New England Patriots. Because of the new voidable years added to contracts for players, the Patriots would be able to defer some of the money Brady wants in free agency to a signing bonus spot and parlay their savings (which would not have been present under the past CBA) into acquiring talented skill position weapons for Brady to throw to. This has been rumored to be a sticking point in negotiations between Brady and Bill Belichick. Hopefully, the CBA will help ease that tension.
Image via Wikimedia Commons