In the previous article, I went over some items in the proposed Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that is confusing and needs clarification. The memo sent out by the NFLPA, mostly, is clear, but not all of it. Hopefully, NFLPA team reps and agents are explaining the confusing aspects of the memo in more detail to help players give the proposal a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
Improvements to working conditions
Development of improved safety metrics for fields: I have sat here and pondered this for a long time and still am at a loss for words to really understand this. Does this just encompass the field conditions to ensure the turf is in game shape? We all remember the game that was supposed to be played in Mexico City in 2018. Could this be a byproduct?
Life insurance: How can the policies be structured and who pays for it? Is the NFL just offering the policy or are the owners paying the premiums?
Creation of new network of hospitals in each team city for former players to receive no cost physicals, preventative care, mental health counseling, and out-patient orthopedic services. Coverage of common surgeries to be phased in during course of deal: On the surface, this sounds like an incredible deal except players would probably be forced to see certain doctors. Will there be much choice in doctors? What is the definition of common surgeries? Is this common surgeries for NFL players? When will this actually be implemented?
Clear parameters for ownership and usage of player data from sensors: Players have a chip in their shoulder pads to show how fast they are on the field, but what is the NFL doing with this data that the players feel needs to be addressed? Will more sensors be added, and what will their purpose be?
Implementation of a neutral decision-maker for most Commissioner Discipline cases: Commissioner Roger Goodell had his power pared back and will no longer be involved in initial discipline with players. Who will be this independent arbitrator, and how do the two sides decide who it will be? How long are they appointed for?
Changes to drug policy
Reduces the penalties to players who test positive for THC, eliminating any game suspensions strictly for positive tests. Players will only be fined? Any other types of penalties? Will the process change from its current form?
Reduces the number of players subjected to testing for THC: Will this process be random?
The players should vote on the proposed CBA in the next week to ten days. Are they all aware of the impending changes and what their effects will be? I wish the Steelers player rep, Ramon Foster, would outline his thoughts publically on each line item in the proposal and clarify what they mean and how the benefits would change from the current format. Until this happens, Steeler Nation can only sit back and conjecture what the confusing aspects of the proposal truly means.