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Beware of those critiquing the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement proposal

Although it is the first proposal to be voted on, this process has been a long and involved negotiation from both sides

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-NFLPA Press Conference John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

There have been a lot of opinions concerning the new Collective Bargaining Agreement proposal which was passed by the NFL owners Thursday and is being presented to the NFLPA representatives on Friday. Unfortunately, there have been many opinions cast both by players and media outlets about the proposed deal. Unfortunately, most of these opinions are very uninformed when it comes to the intimate details and the negotiation process.

As reported by Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio on Friday, he explained how this proposal is not just a first draft which is being sent to the players. Both sides have been working on this and negotiating the intimate details for months.

We don’t know exactly where both sides started and the different concessions they are offering in order to appease the other side. In some aspects, the players are getting a lot more than what they seemed to get nine years ago with the last CBA negotiations. Are these important issues for the players, or not really? Unless we know what exactly they were asking for in the first place, we can’t judge the proposal simply by the surface.

An example of some of the incomplete information which is floating around social media has to do with the payment to players for the extra game of the proposed 17-game schedule which could take affect in the next four seasons. While it is reported that the maximum amount a player could be paid for that extra game was $250,000, it failed to report this number is only in place for contracts that were signed before this CBA which would still be in effect when the schedule is expanded.

If I understand this correctly, it means any new contract or extension from the dates this new CBA is signed and when the league would go to a 17-game schedule would have to include language of the salary based on the change in number of games. While some may look at this is a sticking point the players shouldn’t accept, this may very well be a provision the players wanted thrown in to protect those few players who would still be playing on a contract signed before the expansion was determined. In other words, this may be something the players want for all we know. In reality, it should affect very few contracts but still needs to be included.

When it comes to the players actually voting on this CBA if it is accepted by the player representatives with a two-thirds vote in order to go to the players, it will be the job of the NFLPA reps to accurately present the proposal to the players. In explaining the process of where they started and what they were able to gain by giving up something else, this deal may be way better for the players than they realize. Additionally, it is in the owners best interest to have the CBA this season and not next year. If the players choose to reject this deal and wait until next year, it may not be as favorable as the one presented now. We do not know if that was part of the negotiations, but if it was it could gain the players more now than next year.

The bottom line is this: Beware of opinions of those who have little knowledge on the entire process on the subject. This even is true about players in the NFL. Unless they have been in close contact with their player reps, there is a good chance they don’t understand what it took to get to this point.

We’ve been able to see recently how much the Pittsburgh Steelers have been affected by those offering opinions who don’t really understand the situations. Between comments on Ben Roethlisberger‘s injury and just a blatant misunderstanding of information from national media, we see how dangerous opinions can be based on only a small portion of the information.

Hopefully all those involved in the voting process of the new CBA get the correct and accurate information rather than social media knee-jerk reactions. If the NFLPA representatives vote to move forward, the Steelers’ players need to listen to their player rep in Ramon Foster and base their decision based on his information and not the critiques of those who haven’t been involved with the process.