The NFL players have voted to approve the Collective Bargaining Agreement between themselves and the league, according to multiple reports, first from NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The agreement goes into immediate effect and runs through the 2030 season, giving the league another decade of labor peace.
The NFL Players Association released a statement after the passing of the CBA. “NFL players have voted to approve ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement by a vote tally of 1,019 to 959. This result comes after a long democtratic process in accordance with our constitution. An independent auditor received submitted ballots through a secure electronic platform, then verified, tallied and certified the results.”
The NFLPA’s Executive Council added in their own statement, “We understand and know that players have been split on this deal, including members of our EC. 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.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement about the CBA’s passage, saying, “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. 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.”
Highlights of the new CBA include the potential for a 17-game schedule, increased revenue sharing between the owners and the players, added benefits for former players, an expanded playoff format, and changes to padded practices. The CBA also includes how and when league years will change, beginning free agency. There is belief the league will look to delay the start of the 2020 league year, scheduled for Wednesday March 18, as the coronavirus continues to impact the country and the sports world.