The NFL players have voted to ratify the new CBA, the league announced on Sunday.
According to ESPN, the new CBA will allow the NFL to expand its regular season from 16 to 17 games as early as 2021 and expand the playoff field from 12 teams to 14 beginning as soon as the 2020 season. It also includes higher minimum salaries, improvements to benefits for current and former players, expanded rosters and practice squads, and changes to the league’s drug and discipline policies, all of which will go into effect in 2020. The deal would increase the players’ share of league revenue from 47% to 48% in 2021 and to at least 48.5% in any season in which 17 regular-season games are played.
Players such as Russell Wilson, J.J. Watt, and Aaron Rodgers, wanted the players to reject the CBA, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the vote to approve was close, at 1019-959.
Here is a statement from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on the passing of the new CBA:
“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.”
With free agency scheduled to start on Wednesday, the NFL can be excited that it has labor peace for the next decade.