Sports | March 15, 2020 11:19 am

NFL Players Association Approves Collective Bargaining Agreement in Tight Vote

Ratification was passed by only a 51.5% majority of the voting players

A general view of the National Football League Players Association logo during the Super Bowl week NFLPA press conference.
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After a long and very public battle over the merits of a collective bargaining agreement proposal, the NFL Players Association announced on Saturday that a ratification vote for the new CBA had passed by a slim majority, 1019 to 959.

The biggest change in the new CBA is the implementation of a 17-game season, starting as soon as the 2021 season. Other changes include a bigger post-season — 14 teams, up from the previous 12 — and a slightly larger cut of the revenue for players: while they previously received 47% of revenue, that will go up to 48.5% once the 17-game seasons come to pass, and could rise to 48.8% if broadcast revenue grows by more than 120%, according to USA Today.

The previous CBA was set to expire after the upcoming 2020 season, but owners pushed for a new agreement earlier to avoid a potential lockout and to aid their positions in negotiating new broadcast deals for the league. The last time the CBA was up for renewal, in 2011, the league underwent a lockout for four months before a deal was truck.

As evidenced by the slim majority of yes votes (51.5%), not every player had been in favor of the proposal. The main sticking point, according to NFLPA board member and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, was the 17th game:

The fact that (the 17th game) even got in there when, the guys that I talked to around the league, every meeting that was had before these negotiations got amped up, nobody wanted 17 games. A lot of us are wondering how the hell that even got into the conversation because nobody wanted it.

However, the deal includes short-term bonuses for players, including a larger minimum rookie salary, and a rise in veteran salaries as well. That might have aided in passing the 50% threshold for ratification.

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Read the full story at USA Today