In a report from ESPN’s Dan Graziano, both the National Football League Players Association and the owners are meeting this week individually to discuss the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Each side could vote on a proposed agreement by the end of the week.
Here's our news story with everything we know on the NFL labor talks now scheduled for Thursday and Friday: https://t.co/eOZUvjt6v2— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 19, 2020
According to Graziano, all 32 NFL owners are set to meet in New York City on Thursday. The owners could take the chance to vote on the current proposed CBA which will take a three-quarters majority in order to pass.
As for the players, each team’s representative was scheduled to meet in person in Washington DC on Friday but have decided instead to gather via conference call. The representatives could vote to accept or reject the NFL’s current CBA agreement. A vote to accept the agreement, which would be needed from two-thirds of the representatives, would only mean the proposal would go to the players. Once the players are involved, only a majority is needed for the agreement to be accepted.
A source close to the negotiations informed Graziano that if the players representatives reject the offer, the negotiations may not resume until next off-season.
Some of the key issues involved are a 17-game season, shortening the preseason, expanding the playoff field to 14 teams, as well as minimum salaries and revenue sharing. Graziano laid out the issues as follows:
The league’s desire to expand the regular season from 16 games to 17 games has been met with harsh opposition from many players, who view an expanded season as an unnecessary increase in the risk to players’ health and safety. As a result, a deal that looked bound for ratification as recently as two months ago has encountered some peril with less than a month to go before the start of the 2020 league year. Union leaders have touted to players the benefits of the proposed new deal, which includes a higher percentage of league revenue going to players, improvements in the drug policy and discipline policy, higher minimum salaries, higher per-team spending floors and relaxed offseason work rules.
One of the concessions players have been seeking since CBA talks began last year is an increase in the minimum salary, which applies to a significant chunk of the league’s population. Under the proposed new CBA, sources told ESPN, NFL minimum salaries would rise by roughly 25%. For example, the minimum salary for rookies in 2020 was scheduled to be $510,000. Under the new CBA, which would begin in 2020 and run through 2029, that figure would rise to $640,000. The minimum for players with one year of experience would jump from $585,000 to around $730,000, and so on up to the 10-year veteran minimum, which is scheduled to be $1.045 million in 2020 and would rise to roughly $1.3 million.
If a new collective-bargaining agreement can be reached before the new league year begins on March 18, the Steelers will have more freedom to restructure contracts in order to help with this year’s salary cap. Stipulations such as the “30% rule” which governs the final year of a CBA would no longer be in place and the Steelers could both restructure and offer contract extension to several players.
Either way, it looks as if there may be a little more clarity in the coming days about how willing to compromise each will be moving forward.