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#pounditWednesday, August 4, 2021

New NFL CBA takes another major step toward approval, includes 17-game season

Roger Goodell

The NFL took another major step on Wednesday toward having a new collective bargaining agreement in place before the 2020 season.

NFL owners met last week and approved the terms of a proposed new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFL Players Association, but the NFLPA was unhappy with the proposal and postponed its originally scheduled vote for it. The two sides then met in Indianapolis this week, and the NFLPA voted on Wednesday to send the latest proposal to the the players for approval.

That is a significant step, as it means the NFLPA considers the latest proposal to be one that a simple majority of players will likely approve. When the union decided not to even vote to send the CBA proposal to the players for approval last week, that was an indication that the union believed the proposal had no chance of being approved. The NFL had supposedly told the players last week that their proposal was a “take it or leave it” offer, but that was obviously a negotiating tactic.

The most noteworthy change in the new CBA is the proposal to extend the regular season to 17 games, and it appears that is going to be approved. The current CBA runs through next season, so a 17-game season wouldn’t be implemented until 2021 at the earliest. The owners initially wanted to cap player game checks at $250,000 for the 17th game, which would have limited how much the NFL’s elite players can make in an extended season. Not surprisingly, that portion of the proposal has been nixed.

There has been a lot of opposition from players to a 17-game regular season, but there’s no question it would be an opportunity for the league to make more money, particularly with new TV deals. As long as the players feel that extra revenue is being shared with them in a fair manner, they will likely approve the addition of a regular season game and a shortened preseason.

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