The NFL and the NFL Players Association are reportedly seeking to finalize a 10-year collective bargaining deal that would begin in March 2021.
Judy Battista of NFL.com reported Saturday this that “some benefits” within the new deal would go into effect before March 2021, which is when the current CBA got scheduled to terminate. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport remarked the sides “continue to make progress” and “optimism is high,” a final deal will get reached.
One of the most debated sticking points amid the ongoing talks is the capability of having potential for a 17-game schedule. It’s an idea the NFL has proposed toward in recent years as a way to drive supplementary revenue growth, while players and the union have raised questions about safety concerns.
Jacksonville Jaguars protective end Calais Campbell, the team’s union rep, said that at the Pro Bowl LIV, the issue could be the most challenging hurdle to jump.
“When I speak to the guys, I don’t believe many people want to do it,” he said. “You speak to guys, and I don’t think anybody wants to do it. It’s going to be very, very difficult. I know the owner’s hard on it. We’re talking, trying to solve what we need to do, how we can make this thing a picture. It will be a process, but 17 matches, that’s very tough.”
Despite progress made in past week on nfl cba it sounds as though there isn’t enough support from players on a 17 game schedule. The union can go for 17 games but if they don’t have the votes of player reps it has to convince owners to stay at 16. Stay tuned
— John Clayton (@JohnClaytonNFL) January 28, 2020
That said, the stated optimism about a new CBA is a welcome sign for football fans after ominous criticisms from NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith on this Tuesday.
“People need to understand that it’s effortless to call for a work stoppage; it’s tough to win one,” he said. “So that’s why I began reporting players four years ago about saving their checks, making adjustments to their debt structure, and the truth is that if we want to carry out and get everything we want, that’s going to expect a two-year strike.”
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell stated during his Super Bowl LIV press conference; the league was looking toward alternatives to “reconstruct the season,” likely hinting to a 17-game regular season with several preseason games. Still, he was upbeat about the overall character of the talks.
“We’ve had incredibly productive dialogue,” Goodell said Thursday. “I think we’ve addressed difficult problems that face our league going ahead. Everybody in the negotiation has worked to try to find answers.”
It seems like the sides are within striking distance of an agreement that would keep the NFL operative through the 2030 season without suffering a strike or lockout.