According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, the NFL and NFLPA are close to a deal on a new CBA, with the NFL hoping to sort out the economics of the deal and finalize it before the Super Bowl in three weeks.
Florio reports the biggest complicating factor is an expansion to a 17-game regular season, with a source saying it is “likely, but not definitively” going to happen.
The source added if the regular season were to stay at 16 games, the two sides would already have a deal.
Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer believes a 17-game regular season is something the owners are very interested in, as they were offering financial inducements to the players beyond just a bump in the revenue split.
Breer cited the NFL’s pursuit of $25 billion in total revenue and extra games for teams to play internationally without giving up a home game as two of the biggest factors for the owners. He adds the extra week pushing the Super Bowl to a holiday weekend would be a nice bonus.
Back in December, the NFL reportedly offered the players an increase to 48 percent of the revenue. Currently, players make 47 percent of the money the NFL generates, with 51.5 percent going to the owners and another 1.5 percent going to stadium credits.
The current CBA is set to expire following the 2020 season. The NFL and NFLPA have had regular meetings since April and the tenor around negotiations is much different than the last CBA talks in 2011 when the owners locked out the players.
The owners also have a March 2020 deadline to agree to a new CBA before specific contract and salary cap rules kick in, including the lack of June 1 release designations and the ability of teams to use both the franchise and transition tags to keep players off the free-agent market.
The two sides have also reached tentative agreements on a number of issues including benefits, raising minimum salaries, former player healthcare, workplace rules and how grievances are handled.
We’ll have more regarding CBA negotiations as the news is available.