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Union ratifies changes to CBA, NFL season and training camps to start on time

NFL logo on display in London

For a while, it was looking like NFL training camps might be pushed back due to concerns over both the ongoing pandemic and the financial ramifications that have come with it.

That’s no longer a concern. The NFLPA Executive Committee earlier on Friday unanimously approved a proposal from the league to change the recently-signed collective bargaining agreement to take into account a number of different factors.

The vote then went to the 32 teams reps, which ratified the changes to said CBA.

There are certainly a lot of layers to this. Let’s get into them below.

NFL salary cap changes

The two sides agreed to a restructured cap amid the economic downturn caused by COVID-19. It would not impact the 2020 salary cap, which will remain at $198.2 million.

Instead, the impact of the downturn would be taken into account over each of the next four years. That starts in 2021 with a cap of at least $175 million, per NFL Media.

NFL owners will not be forced into paying out fully guaranteed cash if, for some reason, games were missed during the 2020 season or moving forward due to the pandemic.

NFL roster sizes

For at least this season, normal 90-men training camps rosters will be reduced to 80. Teams can make the moves right now. They have until Aug. 16 to complete said moves.

Practice squads have increased to 16, pending ratification of the deal by the 32 team reps in the union.

This will give undrafted free agents and other fringe players an opportunity to remain employed. It’s also a big deal with the COVID-19 pandemic increasing at an alarming rate throughout the United States. Teams must protect themselves and have players able to step in should others be sidelined with the virus.

NFL preseason

There will be exactly zero preseason games around the football world next month. It’s something players have pushed for after the NFL initially cut the preseason slate in half. It really makes no sense to play meaningless games in this environment.