Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of NFL Media are reporting that NFLPA leaders have scheduled a meeting for Thursday morning with the board of player representatives to discuss the status of collective bargaining negotiations with the NFL. The two parties are expected to gauge the board’s input in terms of how to proceed.
There has reportedly been progress made between the two parties in recent months and the expectation is that they try to get a deal done in the coming weeks.
The NFL is pushing for an expansion of the regular to include 17 games and Rapoport says the chances of a deal being completed hinges in large part on how players respond to the idea of adding another regular-season game.
Some players have spoken out against the idea, even though the NFL is expected to make a number of concessions including a larger share of revenue, among other things.
The NFLPA 11-man executive committee is responsible for negotiating a CBA deal and they’re the ones who will make a recommendation to the board with the best offer.
From there, each of the 32 team reps will vote, needing a two-thirds majority to approve the deal. Then it would be voted on by all dues-paying players with a simple majority required for it to be passed.
As of now, the executive committee has not yet made any recommendations.
According to the report, the central issue throughout negotiations has been the revenue split.
NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith confirmed that talks have centered around a 17-game schedule.
“The negotiations thus far have proceeded with the NFL conditioning proposed increases in economics and other improvements on a potential 17 game model, with reduced preseason games and potentially an expanded playoff schedule,” Smith wrote in a memo from a few weeks ago.
Smith’s memo notes that two sides have tentative agreements on issues including:
- Increased guaranteed revenue to players
- Increase minimum salaries
- Reduction of contact during training camp
- Decreases in fines for on-field contact
- Significant modifications to the drug policy
However, “major issues” exist including:
- Max revenue split
- Minimum cash spend requirements
- Continuation of the Legacy Fund
- Removing the funding rule as a barrier to guaranteed contracts
- First-round pick/Restricted free agent rules
- An NFL-proposed liability waiver
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.
We’ll have more regarding CBA negotiations as the news is available.