The NFL Players Association has a crucial decision to make in the days following Super Bowl LIV. The union is expected to vote on a 17-game schedule at some point in the next few days, according to Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The players have been vehemently opposed to a 17-game schedule in the past, citing health and safety as major concerns if the NFL adds another game to the regular season schedule. The players still feel that way, but other aspects of the deal are reportedly enticing. It’s created a situation where players have to “accept the one thing they hate, a 17-game season, in exchange for 10 or more things they want,” according to ESPN.
The NFLPA held a meeting Thursday to discuss the new collective-bargaining agreement, which would not go into effect until 2021. That meeting included a few player agents, who informed the players of the consequences of rejecting the current proposal. If the players reject the proposal, that could lead to a work stoppage in 2021. The meeting reportedly lasted six hours.
The players were nearly unanimously against the idea of a 17-game schedule at the meeting, though that may have softened as they were taken through the other aspects of the CBA. There was at least enough progress made that the NFLPA will hold another meeting following the Super Bowl. The players are expected to ask the owners for more concessions in order to get on board with the 17-game schedule.
While the current CBA doesn’t expire until after the 2020 season, there’s some urgency to get a deal done soon. The owners claim they will pull the current deal and play out the 2020 season if the players don’t accept the offer soon.
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