Last week the NFL team owners ratified a new 10-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA), which is pending approval by the players union.
After 300 days of negotiation, the divide of opinion between players and owners is small, but it’s large enough to prolong the players’ vote.
League veterans like Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson have come out in opposition to the proposed contract saying in a tweet, “The NBA and MLB are doing it right. Players come first. ALL NFL players deserve the same. WE should not rush into the next 10 YEARS for Today’s satisfaction. I VOTE NO.”
“The owners made it clear that the 17th game is about paying for the ‘added’ benefits, and had nothing to do with positive feedback received about any extra risks involved with the added regular season game,” Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers tweeted. “There were also many issues raised about the workplace, the workload and the offseason program. Some have been addressed, while others have not.”
As mentioned by Rodgers, adding a 17th game to the already grueling schedule has been met with fierce opposition.
Player safety has come up as a major issue, along with a gap in the cap on compensation, which would sit at $250,000 per player. Along with that, concerns about the number of padded practices allowed during offseason training has sparked controversy, among other things.
NFL Players Association (NFLPA) President Eric Winston, who was once a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, refuted Wilson’s claim that the decision-making process has been rushed.
“No one is rushing into anything. We have spent the last 300 days listening to our guys and negotiating this deal. The proposal will be sent to all players and if somebody doesn’t like the terms once they’ve seen the entire package, I understand,” Winston said.
Noteworthy details in the new CBA which haven’t been mentioned include an increase in minimum salary for a player on the roster to roughly $600,000, up a shade under $100,000 from the current $510,000 figure that would be in place if no new deal is signed.
One of the bigger roadblocks in negotiation has been reported that some players are still seeking a 50-50 revenue split.
The owners however are not willingly to budge above 48.5% and will likely not allow a 50-50 split anytime in the near future.
Alongside the outstanding disagreements which are being had as we speak, a number of players both active and retired are seeking more benefits.
Fully-guaranteed contracts and lifetime benefits have long been sought after by players. However, those issues are unlikely to be dealt with as owners refuse to give up more money than they have already offered.
Many NFL players see the guarantees that NBA players get and have pushed to receive the same benefits in their own league. The two leagues structure their salary cap much differently, which greatly impacts the ability of each league to offer full guarantees.
While there is likely to be an agreement reached sometime in the near future between NFL team owners and players, there are still a considerable amount of issues on the table which will seemingly go unresolved.