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NFL proposed CBA includes 17 games, raises, limited THC testing

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New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) celebrates as wide receiver Russell Shepard (81) comes to the sideline during the National Football League preseason game against the New York Jets on August 8, 2019.

Rick Graessle | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

The National Football League has released the new terms for its new collective bargaining agreement proposal, including pay increases and a larger roster size for practice players, according to terms released on the league’s website NFL.com.

Owners gathered in New York on Thursday to approve the terms of a new proposal. It includes a 17-game schedule (up from 16), a reduced preseason and added roster spots.

Under the new terms, players will receive 47% of league revenue, which the Wall Street Journal reported amounted to roughly $16 billion over the last year. The share increases to 48% in 2021, and 48.5% if a 17th game is added. The projected payout would be $5 billion to players over the course of the 10-year deal, according to the new terms.

Teams will also have the ability to add 14 players to their practice squad, up from 12, with an increase in pay – $10,500 per week, up from $8,000 in the 2019 season. If the two sides can’t agree on a new CBA by next month, the 2020 pay for practice squad players will be $8,400 according to the current CBA established by the NFL and National Football Players Association in 2011.

Other terms of the proposal include an increase in minimum salary for players on a club’s active or inactive roster to a starting point of roughly $600,000, up from $510,000 expected in 2020. Players would then see an additional $105,000 added in the 2021 season, and annual increases of $45,000 for the remainder of the CBA. 

Also, testing for THC will be limited, and players who do test positive for THC can still be penalized, but will avoid game suspensions.

The next step is for the players to vote whether to approve the terms or not. Players are expected to have a phone conference on Friday to discuss the proposal, according to the Associated Press. A vote could take place soon as the union is believed to want the matter settled before its annual meetings next month in Miami.

The NFL released a statement acknowledging owners approved “principal elements,” of the deal, adding new terms “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.

“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 statement continued, “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.”

After a Week 9 win over the Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins told CNBC players wanted more of the league’s revenue to be collectively spread “throughout the entire locker,” and he included practice squad players.

“They work hard just as much as us,” Jenkins said. “They don’t get paid as much; they don’t get the benefits. So, we’re trying to look out for those groups – all of those marginalized groups that help us grow the game just like our superstars – and they need to have a greater share than what they get.”

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