On Saturday night, NFL players voted to ratify the new CBA. The new CBA will take effect starting in 2021 and will run until 2030. For the proposed deal to go through, a simple majority of the players need to vote “yes.” The final vote was 1,019 to 959, the NFLPA released in a statement. There are roughly 2,500 players in the players union, so an estimated 79.1% of the players voted on the CBA.
What, exactly, has some players riled up? What changes are coming to rosters, salaries and the season structure as a result of the new CBA? What kind of player-desired changes — like the added “offseason recovery time” advocated by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers — might be missing from the proposal?
Here are some of the most notable rules, regulations and changes that would go into effect under the proposed CBA:
- 2020: 16-game regular season, with postseason expanded from 12 to 14 teams
- Starting in 2021, the NFL has the option to expand the regular season from 16 to 17 games
- If/when NFL moves to 17 games, each team receives a bye week in place of a fourth preseason game
NFL players approved the new CBA, so what do you need to know? Former agent Joel Corry joins Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break it all down; listen below and be sure to subscribe for daily NFL goodness.
Annual revenue split
- 2020: Owners receive 53 percent; players receive 47 percent
- 2021-2030: Owners receive 52 percent; players receive 48 percent
From 2021-2030, the base percentage of annual player revenue is “set at 48 percent … irrespective of whether (the) regular season consists of 16 or 17 games.” However, in the event the NFL moves from 16 to 17 games, players would receive a “media kicker” — an additional share of revenue based on the league’s overall growth in TV contracts. A 60-percent increase would boost annual player revenue to 48.5 percent. The boosted player share could go as high as 48.8 percent with a TV revenue jump of more than 120 percent.
- Immediate increases in minimum salaries
- $1 million minimum salaries by 2029
- Any players carrying current above-league-minimum contracts into the new CBA will receive a bonus equivalent to 1/17 their salary if/when the NFL moves from 16 to 17 regular season games
- Increased emphasis on clinical care rather than punishment (no suspensions for players receiving clinical care)
- Significant reduction of penalties for marijuana use (no suspensions for positive tests; annual testing limited to first two weeks of training camp; higher thresholds for positive tests — 150 grams instead of 35; violations of law for possession “generally will not result in suspension”)
- Increased discipline for DUIs (three-game suspension for each violation)
- Players permitted at team facilities during the second half of suspension period
- Vested veterans (players with four or more accrued seasons) receive up to five days of absences for workouts, including one OTA, without losing offseason workout bonus
- Mandatory three days off after a Thursday game
- Maximum of 12 hours at team facilities per day
- No more than three consecutive days of padded practices at training camp; maximum of 16
Teams are not allowed to add padded practices in the regular season once the 17-game seasons start. Under this new CBA, during the regular season, padded practices will be limited to 14, 11 of which must be held during the first 11 weeks
- Teams can designate an additional player to return from injured reserve each year (three instead of two)
- Two practice-squad players each week can be elevated to the team’s active roster, and a team doesn’t have to replace the player on the practice squad
- Active game-day rosters increased from 46 to 48 players
- Practice squads expanded from 10 to 12 players in 2020-2021, then to 14 players starting in 2022 (including between two and four players with unlimited accrued seasons per team)
- Increased fines for holdouts and players who leave training camp without permission
- Players under contract who fail to report to camp on time or leaves the team for more than five days without permission will no longer be eligible to earn an accrued season for that year
- No more than 10 international games per season from 2020-2025
- Any team playing more than one international game in a season will pay players a $5,000 stipend for each additional game