News broke early Sunday morning that the NFL players have voted to approve the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that was submitted by the league’s owners. The players voted 1,019 to 959 in favor of the proposal.
The agreement featured various topics that could drastically impact the 2020 season, such as a 17-game schedule, minimum salary adjustments, disability claims, player discipline, endorsements, and more.
The voting deadline had been postponed by the NFLPA. Originally, the deadline was the evening of March 12, but it was pushed back to yesterday, March 14. A vote was needed sooner rather than later because it plays a large role in the franchise tag period. If the CBA had not been approved, teams could use franchise and transition tags in 2020. With the CBA being approved, teams can only use one or the other, thus the reason for the deadline being pushed back.
The current CBA expires prior to the 2021 season, but many of the agreement’s contents will become effective for this season. One aspect that is not expected to kick in for 2020 is the season length, as a 17-game schedule likely will not be put into use until 2021.
The extension of the deadline set up a wild few days for the NFL and its teams. The player voting on the CBA ended on Saturday night. However, the franchise tag window closes not long after on the morning of Monday, March 16. One minute after the tag window closes, the legal tampering period opens.
The NFL’s legal tampering period is designed to allow players a two-day window to negotiate with teams before they can officially sign contracts on March 18, when the new league year begins. However, with the advancements in technology and communication, many players commit to signing with teams in a fashion that is technically illegal but rarely penalized. In 2019, left tackle Trent Brown signed a lucrative deal with the Raiders. The full terms of the contract were reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter at 12:09 a.m. EST, less than 10 minutes after the legal tampering period opened.
Nevertheless, a final decision on the CBA vote is crucial as it paves the way for what should be a hectic week in the NFL.