The National Football League (NFL) and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) have created a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) proposal that has sparked much discourse among players thanks to major rule changes.
The new CBA proposal is to be distributed to the entire NFLPA and will be decided by majority vote. This means that the big names in the NFL — the likes of Aaron Rodgers — may have swaying influence due to their renown. Many grew up watching them, and these older players are often the captains of their teams.
So far, veteran players are leaning towards voting no, while younger players seem inclined to vote yes. Why is that?
The CBA proposal, if passed, will apply to the next 10 years. The proposal will offer job security and ensure that players’ salaries will continue to be paid over the next decade. Due to this longevity and security, many younger players are comfortable with some of the other rules that veterans may disagree on.
The major changes proposed in the deal are the shift from a 16-game to a 17-game regular season, and the expansion of the postseason from 12 to 14 teams.
From the owners’ and corporate side of things, this is an easy yes because more games mean more revenue. However, for many of the veteran players, it means another grueling week providing further opportunity for injury.
While this may look one-sided in favor of the owners, there is more to the CBA proposal. There would be an immediate increase to the minimum player salary and a minimum annual salary of $1 million by 2029. Players would also have their revenue share shift from 47% to 48%.While this may seem negligible, a one-percent change of NFL revenue is a massive amount of money.
Other topics include roster sizes, international games, work hours, and holdouts, but the last major change in the proposal regards drug policies. The NFL has been criticized heavily suspending more players for marijuana use than for domestic violence. The CBA proposal details significant reductions in suspensions for marijuana use and a restriction on when drug testing can occur.
From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like the proposal is a win-win situation. For owners, an extra game and an expanded postseason will generate enough revenue to offset their decreased revenue share. For the players, the increase in minimum salary will benefit the average NFL player. Plus the new drug policies seem much more reasonable and just.
The new CBA proposal provides stability for players and owners. However, the major changes to the schedule structure, drug policies, and salaries have brought up many questions and concerns. Now, the future of the NFL lies in the hands of the players and the majority vote.