A subtle but significant change has been made to the statement issued by the NFL Players Association.
The first statement indicated that the union’s 11-person Executive Committee will meet with NFL management next week in Indianapolis, before the board of player representatives casts a non-binding vote on the pending CBA proposal. The new statement replaces “Executive Committee” with “player leadership.”
This implies that the Executive Committee and the 32-member board of player representatives will attend the meeting. If so, it brings into focus the relevant language of the union’s Constitution, which in one breath gives the Executive Committee the power to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the league and in the next breath refers to the board of player representatives, not the Executive Committee, reaching an agreement with the NFL.
That said, the statement acknowledges that the board will “take a vote shortly after” next week’s meeting with the NFL, which as previously explained will be followed by a vote of the full union, regardless of whether the board officially recommends the deal. Which means that the NFL at this point has no reason to behave any differently than Bernie Mac in Bad Santa, refusing to budge while knowing that, eventually, the rank and file will ratify the deal.
So this may just be a matter of giving the five members of the Executive Committee and some or all of the board of player representatives a chance to vent to the league before at least 50 percent plus one of the 1,900 dues-paying members choose to accept an immediate $90,000 increase in minimum salaries and everything else the league is offering for the promise of 17 games in 2021, 2022, or 2023.