Key week for CBA talks

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On Sunday, Chargers left tackle Russell Okung officially declared his intention to run for the soon-to-be vacant position of NFL Players Association president. He could be too late. Or, possibly, just in time.

It’s a big week for Collective Bargaining Agreement talks. On Sunday, NFL Media reported that union leadership will meet Thursday with the board of player representatives regarding labor negotiations and to obtain input on how to proceed.

And it appears the preparatory work for Thursday’s meeting with the board of player representatives (the group of union officials elected on a team-by-team basis) is beginning. A league source tells PFT that the union’s 11-member Executive Committee is having some sort of a vote on Monday.

Okung is a member of the Executive Committee. The union’s investigation of Okung for allegedly gathering and disseminating confidential information generally has prompted other members of the Executive Committee to become more guarded in the things they say to outsiders. Regardless, it’s clear the wheels are in motion on what could be the final days of a negotiating process far less acrimonious than the one that played out nine years ago, when the league imposed a lockout that lasted from March until early August.

For multiple weeks, the thinking has been that there’s a deal to be done, if the two sides can reach an agreement as to the manner in which the pie will be divided, given the looming agreement to expand the regular season to 17 games. As one source put it, if the extended CBA were based on a 16-game regular season, the deal already would be done.

Both sides have a clear incentive to finalize an agreement before Okung potentially takes over the union. Indeed, if a new CBA is finalized before the election in March, there’s a chance he’ll decide to abandon his effort to take control of the union, since his primary motivation is to stop a deal based on 17 games from happening.

3 responses to “Key week for CBA talks

  1. I think a 17 game season is a done deal. Now it’s just down to how much it cost the owners to get it. And you can be sure more games overseas will be part of the deal as well…

  2. For years I’ve been saying that the NFL should eliminate two of the exhibition games (I refuse to call them “preseason”) and add two games to the regular season. Same amount of games overall, no additional stress on the players (that isn’t there already), and the fans don’t have to shell out money for meaningless exhibitions. What’s not to like?

  3. leave the game alone. the symmetry of 32 teams with 8 4 team divisions and a 16 game season have a nice flow. why mess up a good thing?

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