Report: Vote coming soon on CBA with 17-game season

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The ball remains on the tee. The question is whether the NFL Players Association will choose to kick it.

Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the NFLPA will soon convene a meeting of its Executive Committee and its 32-member board of player representatives at an undisclosed location to vote on the current proposal from the league for a new 10-year labor deal. A Thursday meeting failed to result in a vote, due in part to hesitation from some player representatives to accept an extra game.

Mortensen’s report underscores the reality that, despite any public complaints from players like 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (a member of the Executive Committee) regarding a 17-game season, the union has negotiated a Collective Bargaining Agreement premised on 17 games. And union leadership wouldn’t be presenting it to the Executive Committee for recommendation to the board of player representatives for a vote that could then move the proposed contract to a final up-or-down ballot by roughly 1,900 dues-paying members of the NFLPA.

As Mortensen explains it, players will “accept the one thing they hate, a 17-game season, in exchange for 10 or more things they want,” or they will reject 17 games and force further negotiations based on a 16-game season.

Earlier this week, Sherman chastised the media for not pointing out the league’s hypocrisy in promoting player health and safety while pushing for 17 (and eventually 18) games. But Sherman’s words, and the union’s actions, make it clear that the NFLPA has allowed the 17-game horse to escape the barn and to run around in the field, unrestrained.

In some respects, it may be too late to put the 17-game genie back in the bottle. For months, the NFL and NFLPA have hammered out a deal based on 17 games. If the union suddenly tries to do an about-face, the two sides could instantly be on pace for a 2021 work stoppage. Along the way, both sides could squander the opportunity to parlay labor peace into new billion-dollars broadcasting deals before the looming presidential election takes a bite out of ratings and an anticipated recession puts a crimp in budgets.

Still, a deal isn’t done until it’s done. If the Executive Committee refuses to recommend the deal to the board of player representatives, if the board fails to approve the deal by a 2/3rd supermajority, or if fewer than 50 percent plus one of the rank and file accept the proposal, it’s back to the drawing board (and maybe eventually to a lockout or a strike) for the league and the union.

30 responses to “Report: Vote coming soon on CBA with 17-game season

  1. I don’t understand how, after literal years of zero support from the players for a 17th game and no great need for one outside of increasing already stacked revenues, the players ended up here. And I would not be at all surprised if the “ten things they want” are not much better than the keg of beer Mr. Burns provided the union in “Last Exit to Springfield.”

    The only way I would accept a 17 game season is if they expanded the rosters, added a bye, and guaranteed contracts for veterans. And even then, as a fan I don’t see any reason to add a game.

  2. These guys want to do the least amount possible for the most possible pay. Does the NFL management think this will actually get approved?

  3. One way to do this, and to have it not impact player safety: Increase the roster to 57 players (actually 56.3125 would be the exact number if you could have partial humans), but then require teams to sit each player one game per year, so they still all play only 16 games each.

    It is a little like compensating for a player, who is injured. This also gives teams a chance to let a player heal an extra week while getting their “sit-out game” in.

    It would also add an extra component requiring coaches to display some Belichick-like skills and thinking as they juggle the schedule. It is clear that teams would make sure it was “all hands on deck” for the toughest games, but sitting out three players per game, and not all would be stars, you still can get good games

  4. This will ruin the symmetry of 32 teams, 8 divisions, 6 division games, 8 other division games and 2 against teams with same divisional placements. It will limited the preseason and camps even more, softening and ruining the first part of the season even more than it already is with mostly bad football. Limiting the preseason and camp more than it already is will doom any team with a new head coach / coaching staff as they will not have enough time to install their systems.

    Will be the end of the line for my interest in the NFL which as been steadily declining as it is.

  5. They owners are pushing this and will get it; just like when they went from 14 to 16 games.

    But the players’ union must demand increased roster and day-game sizes. No exceptions! Perhaps keep practice squad members “in-play” without having to cut a starter. But some form of increased rosters and player availability needs to happen.

    And eliminate Thursday night games or ensure that no team EVER plays 2 or 3 games in 10 calendar days ever again.

  6. What isn’t mentioned is reducing preseason games which is popular among fans and the players. That does not happen without adding regular season games.

  7. Not always a Richard Sherman fan…but in this case it is right. You can’t as a League and Union say player health and safety are priorities…especially with what we have learned about concussions the last decade and argue for a 17 game season. Since the league is driven not by ticket sales, but television revenue…the plan that helps player safety and league revenue is an 18 week- 16 game season with two byes (one for each team the week before a Thursday night game and another random week). You increase TV programming and revenue, but give players more time to heal during the season. A 17 game season is pure greed.

  8. akira1971 says:
    February 2, 2020 at 11:08 am
    FACT: Both Super Bowl teams are playing their 19th game completely HEALTHY.
    The 13 Chiefs and 14 Niners on IR might have something to say about that.

  9. If there’s a 17 game season, there should be a methodology in place whereas every player that’s on the roster in week one is a healthy inactive for at least one game. In other words, no player participates in more than 16 regular season games.

  10. For decades in every season, 1/4 of the NFL teams have played at least 17 games. And for the most part that hasn’t harmed those players or those teams.

    If the plan includes a way to fairly compensate players under contract for the extra game, the players should take the deal. The cap pie gets a lot bigger.

  11. So how can 16 teams get 9 home games, and the other 16 teams only get 8 home games?
    Imbalanced and unfair. Leave it alone!

  12. Sherman is VERY smart.. He knows the players can get almost EVERYTHING they want (bye week, more share, more roster, no weed tests etc IF they give in to a 17 game season. BUT being more intelligent than the average player (and their reps) he “announces” all this resistance to the 17 game schedule;le just to solidify that the owners WILL meet ALL their demands.

    Note.. The 17 game season AND the extra bye will provide the NFL “TV Show” with TWO more weeks of the #1 TV show in USA – thats HUGE

  13. 17 games will be more work for the coaching staffs and the offensive linemen who don’t rotate in and out, but it’s not that big of a deal. Nowadays, just about every position is rotating guys in and out. Nobody, except O-Linemen and QB’s stay on the field every snap. You’re not allowed to get close to QB’s anymore, so 17 games for them is no threat to their health. They can also have fewer pre-season games and extra bye weeks if they want to, but I think the hysteria around a 17 game season is just for negotiations. I’d love to see one more game. Hey, let’s play 18! Ernie Banks.

  14. I WANT more football and I’m the fan. More football means more money for everyone and regardless if you add one more game you will STILL get injuries. I have no doubt starting in the fall of 2020 we will have football until late January a Super Bowl on Valentines day.

  15. 17 leads to 18……leads to 20. It won’t be long before gameday viewing packages at home will be 50 bucks to watch 1 game or $100 for a 1 day game pass.

  16. windham9 says:

    February 2, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    So how can 16 teams get 9 home games, and the other 16 teams only get 8 home games?
    Imbalanced and unfair. Leave it alone!
    It wont be unfair. Teams will likely have 8 home, 8 road and 1 neutral site(england, Mexico possibly places in us without an nfl team but that house major college football).

  17. I get a kick out of this whole discussion. The number of players that have come out against 17 game is small, virtually no one have come out for it so if I am the NFL this screams of a negotiation tactic. So here we are putting all of our opinions and calling people names but the reality is it will happen, the players know it and in the end it is just a negotiation. So anyone that is listening to Sherman speak (which they mention is on the counsel) you got to think it is a negotiation tactic, not what some paint it as which is a true concern for players health. In the end when it happen like this article points out the players will vote for it, of course some will still blame owners, even though the players voted for it, some will still spin it like the players were victims and owners were some sort of dictators, and after it is all over and done the NFL will still be the most successful pro sports league on the planet.

  18. ditkasanger says:
    February 2, 2020 at 1:03 pm
    Sherman is VERY smart..


    You got that right. He went to Stanford, you know.

  19. Instead of risking players health in another game, have the team cheerleaders fight it out in the first game of the season in a mud bath. The ratings will be killer, the league gets its money in tv and the players have one less game to get a life threatening concussion.

  20. Love 17 games, only sport I watch like this, why wouldnt I want more? Pre seasons a joke, cut 2 games, through in another bye, whatever gets it done.

  21. “And eliminate Thursday night games or ensure that no team EVER plays 2 or 3 games in 10 calendar days ever again.”

    Done, because no team ever plays 3 games in 10 days. At most it is 3 games in 17 days or 2 games in 7 days, which if my observation is correct, happens to every team almost ever week.

  22. The only way a 17 game season can be made acceptable to the players is as follows:
    1. Drop one pre-season game.
    2. Increase the game-day roster to 55 players.
    3. Add another bye week.
    4. Guarantee all contracts (as in baseball and basketball).

    The owners will only want to do #1.

  23. All players should travel and suit up. No marjuna testing 2 bye weeks. Shortened pre season.

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