Report: NFL, NFLPA move closer to new labor agreement, which likely includes 17 games

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The NFL and its Players Association could have a deal completed by early 2020 after making progress in negotiations, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement likely includes a 17-game regular season.

The agreement would scale back the preseason and could come with an expansion of the playoffs from 12 to 14 teams, Maske adds. (Maske also suggests that expansion of the postseason does not require the union’s approval. This conflicts with our understanding of the requirements of federal labor law, given that expanding the playoffs would amount to a sufficiently significant change in working conditions to make union approval necessary.)

Any expansion of the regular season, of course, would mean owners have made financial concessions to get players to agree. The NFLPA consistently has opposed the idea of more regular-season games, citing player safety concerns.

Maske writes that while it is unclear exactly what the concessions are, the new deal could include modifications to the rookie compensation system put in place in the 2011 labor deal.

The biggest issue likely will come in the split of the NFL’s revenue, estimated at $15 billion per season, under the salary cap system.

But the recent movement in negotiations has created optimism the sides could reach a deal by the end of the postseason. Super Bowl LIV is scheduled for Feb. 2, ending the 2019 season.

The current CBA expires after the 2020 season.

70 responses to “Report: NFL, NFLPA move closer to new labor agreement, which likely includes 17 games

  1. would be good to solve this before it turns ugly and a player strike ensues – they must have agreed to keep both sides off
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  2. Yeah, good call… should really help with the CTE issues…
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    Don’t play football if you’re really concerned about CTE issues…

  3. I really don’t like the 17 game season idea, but expanding the number of playoff teams could permanently ruin the NFL. Don’t make your regular season meaningless like it is in the NBA and NHL.

  4. Roger Goodell has been exercising every possible power of the commissioners office for years in anticipation of this negotiation. The owners will probably keep all the revenue share they have in exchange for modifying the powers of the commissioner (and alas the owners get something for essentially nothing had they not created it from scratch).

  5. if they drop 2 preseason games, add the 17th and a extra ‘bye’ week, the net would seem to pretty equal. Maybe a little less revenue from the ‘game’ but an extra week for TV and more playoff games = more $$$ to split. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I wonder if they listened to my suggestion of giving rookies who win awards and make the ProBowl, etc extra $$$ each year of success so there’s less chance the few high-end young players throw hissy fits in the 3rd, 4th and especially the 5th year. Call them “incentive contract bonuses” and allow exemptions to the Cap Limit for the teams of those players who get those incentives. Seems like a win-win to me.

  6. This better include getting rid of franchise and transition tags, that’s too much power over players in a league with a salary cap.

  7. I hope they cut preseason to two games, add the active roster up to 55 players & total roster up to 92. Then require the two bye weeks are at least 4 weeks apart.

  8. Also instead of expanding the post season why not just get rid of division champion system and make it that the 6 teams with the best W-L record in each conference gets in regardless of division?

  9. How about at least one wild card can come from the other conference,
    if they have a better record and (maybe)strength of schedule
    Thursday night games limited to both teams coming off their bye.

  10. billinva says:
    November 13, 2019 at 8:23 pm
    14 playoff teams? How about just one more wild card and only the 1 seed gets a first round bye.
    —————————————–

    That’s what this proposal is. 14 playoff teams is one more in each conference.

  11. Stiller43 says:
    November 13, 2019 at 8:17 pm
    Who wants this? Besides the owners…
    ———————–
    No the fans too, because that might mean you get rid of 2 meaningless full price preseason games.

  12. Expanded playoffs would have meant the 9-6-1 Steelers and 8-7-1 Vikings would have made the playoffs last year. In ’17, the 9-7 Ravens and 9-7 Lions would have been in. ’16 would have been the 9-7 Titans and the 9-7 Bucs would have gotten in. Do we really need these han and egg teams in the playoffs taking on a 12-4 or 13-3 #2 seed? Wild Card Weekend games are often bad games. This would make it worse. And the league has the perfect scheduling matrix right now. Let’s screw it up so we can ship more games to Europe, Asia, the North Pole, and everywhere in between. As Mark Cuban said: “Pigs get fat, and hogs get slaughtered.”

  13. Will the regular season start in August? If the season is lengthened and starts in Sept., we’ll have a bunch of meaningless regular-season games played well into January. Can you imagine two 5-12 teams playing in mid-January? The expanded season is a mistake.

  14. I hope they scrap the franchise tag to go along this. I dont mind 17 games and 14 playoff teams; its just more football to enjoy.

    I want to see more teams go from worst to first and having different champions every year. The more they do for parrity the better.

    Would also love to see something done for running back rookie contracts. They should have an opportunity to hit free agency sooner because these teams are wearing them out early in their careers.

  15. So I guess the playoff format seeds would be 1-bye, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, and 4 vs 5. That’s not too bad. Curious to see how the extra regular season game is scheduled. 18 regular season games makes more sense when you can just play 2 divisions in your own conference but the competitive balance degrades a bit.

  16. This better include getting rid of franchise and transition tags, that’s too much power over players in a league with a salary cap.
    ——————-
    There are what, about 1700 players in the NFL, and six of them got tagged this year? This is definitely not an issue for the rank-and-file player. In fact it could be argued that these tags put MORE money in the pockets of regular players instead of the few elite ones.

  17. crookedcreek1893 says:
    November 13, 2019 at 8:28 pm
    I really don’t like the 17 game season idea, but expanding the number of playoff teams could permanently ruin the NFL. Don’t make your regular season meaningless like it is in the NBA and NHL.
    ——
    Seemingly slmost every college football team plays in some type of post season game yet their regular season is still plenty meaningful.

    With the short amount if regular season games played football regular seasons can’t be compared to the 82 game marathon the NBA plays for its regular season. And even with that the NBA’s revenue and popularity has grown.

  18. I hate this because of the change in the meaning of stats. All those guys that played during 14 games, who knows what their stats would have been like. How do you then compare…”This guy beat the rushing record” “But he played more games.” “Oh.”

  19. I’m sure it all as simple as the article implies.The allocation of 15 billion dollars will be settled by the Super Bowl. No chance. This will drag out and result in a holdout or lockout. By the way, the regular season and playoff format are great as is.

  20. Expanding the playoff teams expanding playoffs and expanding the season will result the healthiest team will win the Superbowl not the Best team wins the Superbowl

  21. How many teams have already played multiple quarterbacks this season, and we’re just past halfway? Let’s add another mostly meaningless game to the regular season, and reward mediocrity by adding a playoff team. I don’t know, just seems to water down the league, to me. But, if it does strip the commissioner of being judge, jury, and executioner regarding punishment, I’m for that.

  22. Looks like I cancelled my subscription to Sunday Ticket none too soon. No behavioral paradigm is always appropriate. Always chasing the last dollar is no exception.

  23. Do the players realize there is literally no chance of the 17th game being played on US soil? I mean it’ll be fantastic for Mexico, Toronto, London and even China if they can find a way to get a game there too…..

  24. A step towards Goodell’s ultimate goal, 18 games as he continues to show he doesn’t care that fans don’t want this, players really don’t want this, but he wants to squeeze more revenue but he doesn’t care at all about the quality of the product…this guy needs to go before he “completely” ruins this sport forever…

    If Goodell was smart and really wanted to throw the fans a bone, and he probably would make more revenue also, get rid of NFL Sunday Ticket, but all the games on free TV, much like the NCAA tournament utilizes 4 networks and scattered times, this way every game is on, what he would lose in NFL Sunday Ticket money he would gain in TV revenue and at least some of us can tolerate his leadership or what I consider is Mis-Leadership

  25. I hate the idea of a 17th game. Completely ruins the integrity of season statistical records. If the NFL wants more money, just give everyone another bye week. That gives another week of TV money, and players get the extra week of rest that they need as well.

  26. This is how it went last time – The Owners got just about everything they asked for, and the players walked away thinking they got a good deal. Then shortly after all we heard from the players was how the owners have all the power. WELL YOU GAVE THE OWNERS ALL THE POWER when you agreed to that lousy deal that YOUR UNION HEAD negotiated for you. Then you had the chance to bring in a new leader for your union, and you voted to keep D.Smith. This is the definition of insanity folks – You keep making the same mistake, but you expect a different outcome. Smith negotiated a HORRIBLE deal for the players the last time the CBA was negotiated so what makes the players think he’ll do a better job this time…I mean really

  27. If you want to get crazy with it, maybe make the preseason games count for something. Maybe teams with best first half point differential get to select where their bye week is the following season, or don’t have to play a Thursday night game the following year, or don’t have to go to London the following year. Only first half differential counts so that teams don’t have to play their starters the entire game and can still use a half to evaluate the back end of their roster, but at least fans paying to watch the game get to see good players half the game. Or maybe some teams won’t value that bonus enough to play them, their call.

  28. The NFL union is weak these players need to make more money or guaranteed money I call NFL money a slave wage while MLB and NBA players are racking up millions of guaranteed money.

  29. I like the 17 game regular season and simply cannot wait for my Lions to be the first team to go 0-17. TAKE THAT, CLEVELAND!!!!

  30. I wonder if they listened to my suggestion of giving rookies who win awards and make the ProBowl, etc extra $$$ each year of success so there’s less chance the few high-end young players throw hissy fits in the 3rd, 4th and especially the 5th year. Call them “incentive contract bonuses” and allow exemptions to the Cap Limit for the teams of those players who get those incentives. Seems like a win-win to me

    Umm they basically do this now for outplaying your contract. Its called performance based pay distributions. And no, they didnt listen to you

  31. What I don’t like is the expansion of the post season. Are we going to become closer to the NBA where half the teams make the playoffs? Four teams in each division and 12 teams in the playoffs is perfect. But the greedy NFL will screw it up. They don’t care what the fans want they do it anyway like playing games out of the USA.

  32. I wonder if they listened to my suggestion of giving rookies who win awards and make the ProBowl, etc extra $$$ each year of success so there’s less chance the few high-end young players throw hissy fits in the 3rd, 4th and especially the 5th year. Call them “incentive contract bonuses” and allow exemptions to the Cap Limit for the teams of those players who get those incentives. Seems like a win-win to me

    Umm….google NFL Performance Based Pay Distributions. This has been done for several years. No, they didnt listen to you.

  33. I hate the argument by the NFLPA saying, “If the league cared about player safety they wouldn’t want more games.” That implies that football is dangerous at any level, and even 16 is far too much. So, that argument doesn’t really hold weight since there is no statistical proof that the body can take x amount of hits, but anything over x is too much.

    That being said, no one wants 17 games. 16 is a fine length. There’s no point in having all the records set forth by legends destroyed as well.

  34. 17 games? So all neutral sites? More London games?
    If the NFL wants an 18-WEEK regular season, just give each team 2 byes, 1 in October, 1 in November.
    It’d be watered down, with fewer games, but 16 games over 18 weeks would let the NFL get more TV money and keep the players happy.
    Cut the preseason to 2 games.
    And, yes, add another wild card to each conference. When the NFL realigned in 2002, it went from 3 division winners and 3 wild cards to 4 division winners and 2 wild cards. This would actually help a team that plays in a tough division make the postseason.

  35. Talk about watering everything down. More regular season games with less meaning. 7-9 teams will make the playoffs. This is so bad… Add in rule changes every single year, rules debacles every single year, more replay down time, more flags, and it’s clear that they’ve infected the golden goose with cancer.

    It’s been fun! Glad this all comes at the time Brady will retire. A true end of an era. Just like the Jordan era… the game simply changed when it was over (and I haven’t watched the NBA since…)

  36. Is it Roger’s life mission to ruin football??

    The NFL product is already getting to the point of being unwatchable, why would you add more game, and risk more injuries to star players and have teams trot out 3rd stringers and get even LESS people to watch ?

    What a joke

  37. As a Redskins #firebruceallen fan, I can’t wait for that extra game…nothing like going 2-15 instead of 2-14…

  38. 2 less pre-season games
    1 international-ALL TEAMS
    1 extra bye week
    8 home
    8 away
    more, MORE, MORE TV revenue – especially International

    They have done the math and the schedule mock up

    Smart

  39. midnightrambler77 says:
    November 14, 2019 at 3:25 am
    So what determines who gets the extra home game ?

    ______________________________________

    1 international game for all – Mexico or London or China or the moon (hee hee)

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