Collective Bargaining Agreement
- Albert Breer points out that the NFLPA’s meeting on Thursday in Washington DC is the third in a series between the executive committee and player representative meetings regarding the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
- Though the parties may vote on a CBA at the meeting, they must first address several issues that are still on the table prior to initiating a voting sequence.
- Breer mentions that adding a 17th regular-season game is also among the NFL’s proposals, while the players’ union is focused on “reducing the overall load and exposure on players” during the offseason, camp, and regular season.
- According to Breer, the NFLPA was “taken aback” when Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said adding a 17th game wouldn’t affect health or safety concerns.
- One source indicated to Breer that the two sides are “getting close” to agreeing on economics rulings with the “biggest divide” being minimum salaries.
- Breer also notes that the NFLPA would likely want a deal to get done prior to March 7-10, which is when they will select a new union president.
Cardinals GM Steve Keim offered some high praise for impending free agent T D.J. Humphries, saying the team is “very optimistic” he will return next season.
“I am very proud, not only of the way he played but also his maturation,” Keim said of Humphries. “The way he has progressed as a worker, as a leader. It certainly was the area of the most improvement for our football team was the offensive line. They stayed healthy, we ran the football effectively this year, and D.J. Humphries was a big reason for that… “We all feel very confident D.J. Humphries has grown into one of the better tackles in the National Football League.”
Despite his approaching 32nd birthday and his impending free agency, Cardinals T Marcus Gilbert is hoping to return to his prime and help Arizona to become a contender in 2020.
“I knew that wasn’t the way I wanted to go out, especially coming off a disappointing year before,” Gilbert said about his injury. “I had every thought to come back and reclaim that top right tackle spot (in 2019.) That did a lot of damage to me, but I still know I have a lot ahead of me. I don’t want to hang it up too soon. I know what type of player I am.”
Gilbert is just five months removed from a torn ACL, an injury that typically takes nine months to recover from. However, Gilbert has had teammates who can provide him both insight and inspiration, given that Cardinals C A.Q. Shipley tore his ACL during training camp in 2018 before making his return last year.
“For him to come back and play a full 16 games at a high level, that was really encouraging to me,” Gilbert said of Shipley’s return. “To see the type of feedback I’ve gotten from the guys, like Carson Palmer, Maurkice Pouncey – they gave me a lot of encouraging words. Mentally where I’m at right now is to attack this thing…I did a lot of reflection, and I can say that mentally I’m more prepared than ever to get over this hump and have a couple good seasons that I feel like I have in me.”