GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The NFL has moved a step closer to labor peace for another decade.
Player representatives have voted to send a new labor deal approved by the owners to the full union membership. A simple majority of some 2,000 players must accept the agreement for it to go into effect this year.
After nearly four hours of meetings between player reps and members of the NFL's negotiating committee Tuesday in Indianapolis, the 32 team reps spent several more hours discussing the deal. They then gave the nod early Wednesday for all NFL Players Association members to make the final decision.
The new CBA calls for a 17-game regular season, which is expected to begin in 2021; more roster spots; a shortened preseason; a higher percentage of revenues for players; and upgraded pensions for former players. The owners approved it last Thursday, though not unanimously.
Several high profile players, including Russell Wilson and JJ watt, have said they will vote no.
Aaron Rodgers was said to be a very vocal critic in the meetings, both Friday and on Tuesday night. Rodgers tweeted his thoughts on the new CBA.
“I voted no last night. My decision to vote no is based off of the conversations I have had with the men in my locker room that I’m tasked to represent. This deal will affect every player that ever plays this game and we have made this decision with only an abbreviated version of the deal and that isn’t good enough. Although I do see that there are many things in the proposal that improve the lives and care for past, present, and future NFL players, there are a issues with others,” Rodgers tweeted Wednesday.
“16 games to me, was never something to be negotiated. The owners made it clear that the 17th game is about paying for the ‘added’ benefits, and had nothing to do with positive feedback received about any extra risks involved with added regular season game (also an extra game for ever 2 seed moving forward on Wild Card weekend, i.e. GB 2019=no bye).”
“There were also many issue raised about the workplace, the workload and the offseason program. Some have been addressed, while others have not. With an extra game added to the schedule, added risk, and longer stretches before and after the bye week, we felt it was important to address adding more offseason recovery time. The ideas discussed would not add costs for teams, in fact if anything would less some of them.”
“My involvement has been far less than the negotiating team, the [Executive Committee] and the owners in these conversations, and I’m sensitive to that and appreciative of the time and sacrifices made. My involvement as a player rep, and a 15 year player in this great game though, allows me this platform to share my opinion, and at the same time, requires me to speak on behalf of the sentiment I hear from my teammates.”
“The value of our players and the strength of the NFLPA can only be realized, if we ourselves know and believe in our worth. I respect the democratic nature of this process and have been, and will continue to talk with my teammates on the Packers, and my colleagues across the league.”
It seems likely that the players will accept the deal, or else their leadership would not likely have made this move.