The NFL and the NFL Player's Association took a major step to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement late last night that could bring their negotiations to a conclusion prior to the opening of the league year on March 18th.
At about midnight (Central Time) last night George Atallah, Assitant Executive Director of External Affairs for the NFLPA announced that the NFLPA's 32 member Board of Player Representatives voted to allow the general player's association to vote on the new labor deal.
The Board of Player Representatives only needed a majority vote to send the proposal to the general membership. Per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, there's no indication that the agreement was sent with a recommendation from the Board of Player Representatives. To give a recommendation to the general membership, it would require 22 or more yes votes.
Last week it was thought that an agreement was close to coming together, but a sticking point remained centered on compensation for the proposed 17th game under the new CBA as well as the percentage of shared revenue.
Under the previous proposal, contracts signed under the current CBA would have been paid a maximum of $250,000 for that 17th game. That would have put a cap on the game checks that some of the top earners in the NFL would have received. Now, the players would receive a game check at a prorated value of their contract. Meaning, they'll receive the same compensation for game 17 as they would for game one.
The new CBA proposal that the 32 player reps voted to approve fixed the 1/17th issue.
Every nfl player will receive the full prorated value of their contract when the nfl implements 17 games, source said.
With the latest proposal one step closer to ratification, all that is required for it to pass and install a new collective bargaining agreement is a simple majority vote. With major changes to the league's stance on marijuana, an increase to the players' share of the revenue, increases to the roster and practice squad, and increases in the rookie and veteran minimum salaries, it's expected the general membership will be able to reach a simple majority and approve the new collective bargaining agreement.
The NFLPA board of representatives voted to send the proposed CBA to the full membership, meaning now only a simple majority of the nearly 2,000 players is needed to ratify. The thinking has been that vote is a virtual certainty. On the 1-yard line towards 10 years of labor peace
With the NFL's current CBA set to expire in March of 2021, the league was motivated to get a new deal done in anticipation of the current television deal to expire in 2022. The owners wanted to be able to take a 17 game schedule and expanded playoffs to the networks as they begin negotiations over the next couple of years to have an agreement in place as the current one expires.
If a new collective bargaining agreement is reached prior to March 12 — the new deadline for teams to use the franchise tag — it would eliminate the transition tag for 2020 creating more of a burden for the Dallas Cowboys to come to agreements with their principal free agents. Without a deal in place by March 12th, the league would operate under the current agreement for 2020, which would have provided both the franchise tag and a 2020 transition tag for teams to use.
Stephen Jones said no contract with QB Dak Prescott or WR Amari Cooper will be agreed upon until CBA rules for the 2020 league year are decided. Cowboys met with Cooper and his agent Chafie Fields at Super Bowl in Miami. “Very upbeat” conversation.
— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) February 24, 2020
Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President Stephen Jones mentioned earlier this week that contract discussions would be on hold until they had a clearer understanding of the direction of these labor talks. With these labor talks potentially coming to a close, there will be movement over the next couple of weeks towards new contracts for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper.
Deadlines make deals. The deadline to use the franchise tag operated as the deadline to get something done for the new CBA to be in place for the 2020 season and the two sides got motivated to get a deal done prior to that deadline. Once a new CBA is ratified by the NFL and NFLPA, the Dallas Cowboys and the representatives for Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper will get motivated to get those contracts done prior to that March 12th deadline as well. As it looks right now, it appears the Cowboys will only have one tag to use on their premier free agents, necessitating an agreement is in place for the other prior to the opening of free agency on March 18th.
With deadlines fast approaching over the next couple of weeks, look for the Dallas Cowboys to get deals done.