In the biggest news of the offseason so far, the National Football League and the Players Association have agreed to the terms of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement that will run through the end of the 2030 NFL season, ensuring that there will not be a strike or a lockout following the 2020 season.
The vote was a very close one, with the “yes” side prevailing by a count of 1,019 to 959.
- We won’t see a 17-game regular season until 2021 at the earliest. The 2020 season will still feature four preseason games and 16 regular-season games. The league will have a window between 2021 and 2023 to expand the regular season to 17 games, which would then reduce the preseason to three games.
- The expansion of the postseason to seven teams in each conference will, however, begin with the 2020 season. This means that only the #1 seed in each conference will receive a first-round bye, and rather than doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday of Wild Card Weekend, we will be getting tripleheaders.
- Active game-day rosters will expand from 46 to 48 players, and one of the extra players has to be an offensive linemen, meaning teams will need to have eight offensive linemen active on game days. Practice squads will also be expanding from 10 players to 12 starting in 2020, effectively meaning that NFL rosters will move from 53 to 55 players. Teams will also be able to send a player from the active roster to the practice squad twice without the need to have them clear waivers. In the past, teams had to waive a player and hope that nobody else claimed them to put them back on the practice squad.
- Players will be receiving a greater share of the NFL’s revenue pie in the future. In 2020, the players will receive 47% of revenues, and that number will increase to 48% in 2021. That figure can go even higher once the new television contracts are agreed to.
- Good news if you’re a minimum wage NFL player, as the league’s minimum salary will go from $510,000 to $610,000. When the league moves to a 17-game season, a player that is on the roster will be compensated with a bonus equal to 1/17th of their salary.
- Fifth-year options are now all fully guaranteed. They used to only be guaranteed in the case of injury. Also, there is no longer a distinction between the fifth-year option figure for a player that was drafted in the Top 10 and a player that was drafted between #11 and #32 in the first round. Everyone’s fifth-year option will now be performance-based, and according to Graziano could be as high as the franchise tag figure for their respective positions.
There is plenty more at the link to Graziano’s story, but those are some of the big ones, in my opinion.
With the CBA having been agreed to, we now await news on the start of the new league year, which is supposed to happen at 3:00 PM Central time on Wednesday, and the status of the 2020 NFL Draft. Once we have that information, we will pass it along to you here.