The National Football League's owners approved a proposal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement on Thursday. The proposed deal would take the place of the current CBA that is set to expire at the conclusion of the upcoming season.
The proposal will go ahead to a vote of the Players' Association reportedly expected via conference call with NFLPA representatives on Friday.
"Following more than ten months of intensive and thorough negotiations, the NFL Players and clubs have jointly developed a comprehensive set of new and revised terms that will transform the future of the game, provide for players – past, present, and future – both on and off the field, and ensure that the NFL's second century is even better and more exciting for the fans," the league said in a statement released following their vote."
The NFL did not details the specifics of the proposal. However, multiple media reports have indicated the league is seeking a 17th regular season game added to the schedule and two additional playoff teams, one from each conference, added to the slate. Additionally, the players would see a marginal increase in their percentage of the revenue split, more rules limiting offseason contact, and a possible relaxation of league enforcement of marijuana-related drug tests.
The current CBA has been in place since the 2011 season when the two sides went through a lockout following the expiration of the previous agreement.
"There has been a flood of information on the potential of a new CBA. To our players: your player leadership has been working tirelessly. This is a business deal and no deal is finalized until the players vote," NFLPA president Eric Winston said in a tweet in response to the proposal.
The NFL wants more games because it will generate more revenue. More playoff games are an even bigger boon for the league as all players receive the same flat rate for playoff games, which for top players is far less than their weekly game checks during the regular season.
According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFL will likely attempt to add the additional playoff teams even without player approval as they believe they don't need joint approval to make that change.
The league approved the rules for the 2020 season under the current CBA as well should the players not accept the proposal on the table from the owners.
"Since the clubs and players need to have a system in place and know the rules that they will operate under by next week, the membership also approved moving forward under the final year of the 2011 CBA if the players decide not to approve the negotiated terms. Out of respect for the process and our partners at the NFLPA, we will have no further comment at this time," the league said in the statement.
The agreement would have to be approved by 2/3rds of the NFLPA's player representatives on Friday's call with the proposal then moving forward to a vote of the entire union with a majority of support required for the new CBA to go into effect.
Photo Credit: SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 24: General view of Qwest Field during the NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New York Giants on September 24, 2006 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won 42-30. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)