Though the NFL and the union have agreed not to talk publicly about their ongoing Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations, word of some of the details have been leaking out via private avenues.
Per a league source, there’s talk that the NFLPA is willing to agree to the expansion of the regular season to 18 games.
(We’ve long believed that talk from the league of an 18-game regular season was aimed at securing the addition of one game, moving the total number of games to 17.)
The source also says that, as an inducement to getting a deal done before the start of the uncapped year, the union is willing to adhere to the free-agency eligibility rules that will apply in 2010 absent a new labor deal. Specifically, players whose contracts expire after the season would be required to have six years of service in order to be eligible for unrestricted free agency.
Though the players who will be restricted free agents under that scenario might not be too pleased, the reality is that they’ll be restricted free agents if no deal is done at all.