Sports | May 30, 2019 1:57 pm

NFL Labor Talks Could Extend Season and Change Marijuana Policy

The league's labor agreement is set to expire after the 2020 season

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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty)
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It won’t be next season, but big changes could be hitting the NFL in the coming years.

The league’s labor agreement with the NFL Players Association is set to expire after the 2020 season and parties on both sides are already working to prevent a work stoppage when it does. That opens up a lot of room for some big discussions.

When a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, it could include a provision which would extend the league’s regular season to 18 games or expanded the number of playoff teams in order to add games — and revenue — that way.

In order to get the player’s to agree to either of those proposals, NFL owners would likely have to make concessions to the players such as loosening the league’s marijuana policy or reducing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s disciplinary authority.

With regard to the marijuana policy specifically, the league and the NFLPA could agree to make changes to their jointly administered drug policies outside the framework of CBA talks and have already talked about doing so.

Following a labor dispute in 2011, NFL owners locked out the players for four months. Lockouts like that are bad for business and, with the NFL’s media agreements set to expire after the 2022 season, the league and its players certainly want to avoid one.

“I do hope it is sooner rather than later,” Goodell told reporters last week. “I think there is great value to all parties, and most importantly our fans, that we get this issue resolved and move forward.”

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