The NFL moved closer to labor peace for another decade early Wednesday, when player representatives voted to send a new deal already approved by the owners that includes a 17-game season to the full union membership. A simple majority of some 2,000 players must accept the agreement for it to go into effect this year.
After nearly four hours of meetings between player reps and members of the NFL’s negotiating committee Tuesday in Indianapolis, the 32 team reps spent several more hours discussing the deal. They then gave the nod for all NFL Players Association members to make the final decision.
The vote to send the proposal to the membership was close, 17-14 with one abstention. The NFLPA announced the move on its Twitter account after 1 a.m. ET Wednesday.
There was no immediate word of when that vote would occur, though it likely will be weeks, as the union attorneys will now go to work on a term sheet on the deal.
Sources told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that attorneys from the NFL and NFLPA plan to meet Wednesday to discuss how the offseason will be administered with the player vote on the collective bargaining agreement pending.
The new CBA calls for a 17-game regular season, which is expected to begin in 2021; more roster spots; a shortened preseason; a higher percentage of revenue for players; and upgraded pensions for former players. The owners also agreed to eliminate the $250,000 cap on earnings for players when they get the extra game check for the 17-game season.
The owners approved the new CBA last Thursday, though not unanimously.
It seems certain that the players will accept the deal or else their leadership would not likely have made this move.