The NFL owners voted Thursday to approve a new CBA proposal that would bring drastic changes to the league. Among those changes are a 17-game regular season schedule, 7 playoff teams in each conference, 1 bye in each conference, a shortened preseason and fewer padded practices. All the NFL needs now is for the NFLPA to approve the new agreement, but it doesn’t look like there’s much chance of that happening.
NFL players took to Twitter as details of the CBA were becoming public and expressed their adamant detest for the proposal. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans posted this viral tweet Thursday evening.
While Watt’s reaction was by far the most popular, what’s perhaps more relevant is the reaction of NFLPA Vice Presidents Richard Sherman and Russell Okung.
Sherman hasn’t made any public comments of his own, but has retweeted negative reactions by some of his fellow players. Seahawks cornerback Quandre Diggs tweeted “50/50”, calling for an even split of revenue, in response to an Adam Schefter tweet stating that players had the option of either increasing their revenue share with owners to 48% if they decided to stick with a 16-game regular season or 48.5% if they agreed to a 17-game schedule. Sherman also retweeted former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz who called out fans for supporting the NFL owners.
Russell Okung of the Chargers said the NFL is “laughably trying to sell 17 games for a profit” in a long Twitter thread in which he called out the NFL for its dismissal of player safety, particularly as it pertains to CTE and concussions.
NFLPA president Eric Winston insisted to his fellow players that the NFLPA was working “tirelessly” to come to a fair agreement with NFL owners on a new CBA and reassured them there would be no deal without their approval.
Sports business reporter Daren Rovell said the deal proposed by NFL owners was the 2nd worst deal he’s seen in his 20 years covering sports labor and said there was “no way” players would agree to it.
Mike Silver of NFL Network said on Wednesday that despite the NFL and NFLPA making significant progress in negotiations recently, the two sides were still “far apart” which made the NFL owners voting to approve a proposal just one day later all the more odd. With that being the case, it should come as no surprise that the players have little to no interest in the deal as currently constructed.
The current NFL CBA is set to expire after the 2020 season if no agreement is reached before then. Given the current public backlash, it’s hard to believe the players will approve the most recent proposal from the NFL owners. It seems there’s a lot more negotiating that needs to happen if the NFL wants its 2021 season to go off without a hitch.
Photo: (Jason DeCrow – AP Photo)