As NFL owners await a vote from the NFL Players’ Association on a new collective-bargaining agreement proposal, the NFLPA sent a memo on Thursday to players detailing the immense benefits that players will receive in the proposed CBA.
In exchange for agreeing to a new CBA, which would give owners the ability to expand the season to 17 games and move to a 14-team playoff, players would receive significant accommodations regarding salary, league drug policies, post-retirement benefits and improvement to current conditions in the NFL
Financial Benefits: NFL players could see billions in additional revenue over the 10-year duration of the proposed CBA, with the money being spread out to increase salaries for non-stars.
- Players would receive a 48% share of the NFL revenue in 2021 and it would increase to 48.5% if a 17-game season goes into effect and new media deals are signed.
- Minimum salaries for rookies would increase by $100K in ’20 with an additional $50K increase in ’21, followed by a $45K increase each following season.
- Similar to the NBA’s mid-level exception, each team would have an additional $1.25 million excluded from the cap for two players with four-plus years of experience.
- When a fifth-year option is exercised, the fourth and fifth year can become fully guaranteed, depending on when the option is exercised. The salary is determined by player performance instead of where the player was selected.
- NFL teams will receive additional cap room in 2021 if the 17-game schedule is implemented, even if new media deals aren’t signed.
- Practice squad player salaries will increase to $10,500 per week. The practice squad also increases from 12 to 14 players.
- Increase NFL roster sizes from 53 to 55.
League Discipline: After years of cracking down on marijuana use, the NFL is prepared to scale back significantly and reduce commissioner Roger Goodell’s discipline power.
- Reduction in fines for on-field violations, reduction in fines from each team.
- A neutral decision-maker will handle the majority of discipline matters, removing the authority from Goodell.
- The drug testing window for THC is lowered from four months to two weeks at the start of training camp.
- The number of players tested for marijuana will be reduced.
- The necessary nanogram limit to fail a drug test will be raised from 35 to 100.
- Elimination of suspensions for players who strictly test positive for THC.
Practice Schedule: In exchange for the additional game, players will get a lighter practice and training schedule during the year and in training camp.
- Each team will be restricted to a 2.5-hour limit for each padded, full-speed practice.
- Following the end of training camp, players will receive a three-day break if a 17-game schedule is implemented.
- NFL teams will be limited to four joint practices in training camp, if the league moves to three preseason games.
Player Treatment: Under a new CBA, players would see a significant increase in resources, improved facilities and benefits.
- Mandatory improvements made to visiting locker rooms at every NFL stadium.
- New standards set for rehabilitation facilities, training rooms, team equipment.
- Pension increase of 10% and matching 401K contribution increased to $30K, with further improvements in the following years.
- Vision coverage added to healthcare plans.
- Active and former players will receive increased tuition reimbursement
- A $50,000 HRA will be established for vested veterans without an HRA.
- A new network of hospitals in every NFL city for former players to receive no-cost physicals, preventative care, mental health counseling and outpatient orthopedic services.