Players Pass New CBA

NFL player vote ratifies new CBA through 2030 season

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
  • Published: March 15, 2020 at 10:14 a.m.
  • Updated: March 15, 2020 at 10:41 a.m.

In a result that will reshape the NFL and bring about labor harmony for the next 11 seasons, NFL Players Association members voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement that was previously approved by NFL owners in February, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Sunday morning.

With a 1,019-959 majority vote that concluded at 11:59 p.m. ET Saturday, the players signed off on a new CBA that will begin with the upcoming 2020 season and extend through the 2030 campaign.

Notable changes in the new deal include the expected addition of two more teams to the playoff field as early as the 2020 season, an option to increase the regular season to 17 games starting in 2021, and increases in minimum salaries, performance-based pay and player revenue.

“NFL players have voted to approve ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement by a vote tally of 1,019 to 959,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “This result comes after a long and democratic process in accordance with our constitution. An independent auditor received submitted ballots through a secure electronic platform, then verified, tallied and certified the results.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement shortly after the vote was released.

“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,” Goodell said in the statement. "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 vote was decided by a razor-thin margin of 60 votes, which was a matter touched on in a statement from the NFLPA Executive Committee.

“We understand and know that players have been split on this deal, including members of our EC,” the statement read. “Going forward, it is our duty to lead, however we may feel as individuals, to bring our men together and to continue to represent the interests of our entire membership.”

There will be an uptick in player revenue, set at 47 percent in 2020 and then at least 48 percent in 2021 with the ability to increase the percentage to a 48.5 share through a media kicker that applies in any season the league plays 17 games.

Players who earn league minimums will get an increase in salary and there will be an increase in performance-based pay, beginning with an average 12 percent increase. The league estimates that as much as an additional $100 million will go to players immediately this season.

Two additional active spots will bring rosters to 55 men, while there will be a decrease in padded practices at training camp, down from 28 to 16. Padded practices will be limited to 2.5 hours, down from 3.

Retired players will also benefit from the new deal, as they will see an increase in benefits and boost to pensions.

Changes to the drug policy include a reduction in penalties for players who test positive for THC (eliminating suspensions solely based on positive tests), an abbreviated testing window (from four months to two weeks at the start of training camp) and a significant increase in the threshold for a positive test (nanogram limit rises from 35 to 150).

NFL owners first approved the terms of the new CBA on Thursday, Feb. 20, after months of negotiations with the NFLPA. However, the next day, the 11-member NFLPA executive committee voted 6-5 not to recommend the CBA proposal to its membership for a vote, delaying a wider vote by the 32-member NFLPA board of representatives that had been expected to occur later that day.

Instead, the path to ratifying the CBA extended to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Backdropped by the annual scouting event, the board and NFLPA executive committee met with the NFL Management Council Executive Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 25, for roughly four hours. Pelissero reported at the time that that the NFLPA board of representatives voted 17-14, with one abstention, to send the CBA to its full membership for a vote to ratify. The board of reps forwarded the proposed CBA without a recommendation.

Ballots to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement were sent to players March 5.

With a new CBA in place, teams can set their sights on the start of the new league year, which is scheduled to open Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET. The deadline for teams to use either the franchise or transition tag on a player is Monday at 11:59:59 a.m. ET. Teams previously had the option to use both the franchise and transition tag under the old CBA – a special rule in place for the final year of the deal – but with the new agreement in place, clubs can now only use one.

IMO I can see more contracts start flying now that the players and teams know what the base salaries will be for the season. I believe that was the big hold up to getting players extended by many teams.

In either case it should make FA a little more interesting to watch as the salaries across the board should see a big jump.

Good. We don’t have to deal with that story all offseason and next year.

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Wow, that’s a lot of dissent by what I am assuming is veterans making millions more than the ones who voted yes.

Half the players didn’t want this. Wouldn’t be surprised if those players refused to play.

Looks like guys will have alittle more leeway to smoke a joint now to help with pain instead of taking opioids.Plus the extra playoff teams and a 17th game are good in my opinion along with a 55 man roster.

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Minimum NFL salary is around $500k, not many guys are going to walk away from that, especially if they can up their game to make even more. Where else are they gonna make that much?

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The people who voted yes are the players making $500,000. There’s a lot of guys who make millions and have made millions that didn’t want this. They could band together and refuse to play until changes are made and after the league suffers without its superstars.

Will it happen, probably not, but it could happen.

Pretty close vote. Not really sure I like the 7th playoff team. Some years were going to be looking at 7-10 playoff teams.

It’s a shame they approved this, but what are you going to do.

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I think that was alot of grand standing. They will play

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Just a dissenting opinion. But like I said, it probably won’t happen.

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Like we have not seen that in the past. There have been a few times that teams with losing records made it to the playoffs. I really do not see the difference, instead I see more teams that have that good record of making the playoffs vs having to watch from home. This is another thing that we have seen over the years.

I haven’t read much about this yet, but I HATE the idea of 17 games. I really liked the 16 game continuity with the record books etc.

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There were some parts about it I liked and some parts I didn’t (especially the 17 game schedule), but in the end the main thing I cared about as a fan was that there was no interruption in football while these rich people haggled. So I’m pretty thrilled.

I know it could never happen but in some sort of alternate reality, I’d love it if the fans could be represented too. Because without us, they’ve got nothing. Without us they’re the AAF or the arena league. We make the league what it is, the whole thing was conceived as entertainment for us. And it worked.

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I feel my love of the game slipping, as refs have a deeper impact on outcomes. I’m super-glad they got this done with no stoppage of play. Not sure I’ll make it through the contract though LOL.

Love my Lions. Hoping that things can somehow correct themselves. I generally dislike 95% of rule changes, as the game gets softer and more corrupt, and leans more the direction of the NBA.

I would have SO much more time, if I didn’t watch and read about football. I’m hoping some semblance of the purity of sports remains, and that our guys get a SB. If not, I’ll be out eventually (I used to watch every Pistons game, but the league eclipsed my threshold for bullshit…havne’t seen an NBA game in over a decade, I’ll bet).

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I’m glad it was approved as well.

There are No perfect CBAs for all to get what they want - life isn’t that way.

You find a decent middle ground and move on.

I means I would love to sit my add on the bench and never start a game but make 500,00 a yr! Do the for four yrs and retire.

Wow - hard times …

I would like to know how the medical side has improved or not… do they have lifetime medical? Injury comp? Etc…

Now, outside this stupid virus, we can move thru the FA and draft process with no interruptions…

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Not arguing, just wondering why the millionaires were against it. Maybe it was this, at least in part:

The new CBA came down hard on veteran players that are thinking about holding out for a new contract. Here’s a snippet from Graziano’s piece:

> A “player playing under a contract signed as a veteran who fails to report to his club’s preseason training camp on time or reports and leaves the club for more than five days” cannot have his fines waived by the team upon return and will not earn an accrued season for that season.

Though that rule does not hold for players on rookie contracts, it does for a guy like Darius Slay. Slay still has one year remaining on his deal, and he has made pretty clear he’s looking for a new contract. The Lions have held off on trading him, but they don’t seem too enthusiastic about coming to an agreement on an extension either.

These new rules obviously give the Lions a little more leverage as Slay will see significantly more punishment if he decides to hold out into training camp.

So, Deadstroke: why don’t you like the new CBA?

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I really like the 17 game season …I like the idea that (except for a tie game) the season will now be a winning one or a losing one no more 8-8 500% seasons …

This is how large corporations have broken unions the last 40 years.

These guys obviously make more than regular people but the principals are exactly the same, offer incremental bumps to people who aren’t in a position to risk a work stoppage.

The last CBA purposely broke the league into the have and have nots so they could do this.

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I think the Covid-19 situation greatly reduced the player’s palates for uncertainty

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Honestly I don’t think it did. I think it would have passed either way.

There are too many guys in the NFL that literally can’t miss a check.

If I was a union leader I would start a fund right now for a the players in the event of a work stoppage.