NFL

The NFL’s New CBA: What It Means and Player Reactions

Givanni Damico | March 16th, 2020

NFL players have approved the new collective bargaining agreement presented by the league. Last time a CBA was proposed, there was a lockout in July of 2011; now the NFL will have labor peace until 2030. Although the agreement was approved, the margin wasn’t very wide. The final vote was 1,019 to 959, or 51.5% to 48.5%. Five hundred players did not vote on the plan, which is extremely significant because their votes probably would have led to this CBA’s rejection. All this being said, a lot of fans probably aren’t quite sure what the agreement entails. I’ll fill you in. 

The preseason will be shortened. While this may seem insignificant, it’s a part of the deal nonetheless. We’ll probably lose one game of preseason football to make up for the next part of the agreement.

Beginning in 2021, the NFL season will consist of 17 regular-season games. This is huge for the fans. Some of the players may not like the extra wear-and-tear on their bodies, but they will receive more compensation as well. Players will receive more of the league’s revenue due to the salary cap system. Without increased compensation, this deal may have not been ratified.

Beginning in 2020, seven teams from each conference make the playoffs. Only one team gets a first-round bye per conference now, making that number one seed all the more valuable. This makes sense to me because the NHL and NBA have about half of the league making the playoffs (which is too much), so the NFL moving up to 14 out of 32 just makes sense.

There will be restrictions to “practice field hitting” such as in training camp. This is for the player’s safety, but I don’t like this. How are players supposed to prepare to get lit up during games if they’re playing flag football in practice? Enough of this pansy football. 

And the biggest part of the deal in my opinion: players will no longer receive a suspension for testing positive for marijuana. I hate this part of the deal. These players should be held to some sort of standard. If they cannot stay off of marijuana, they shouldn’t play. Plus, what happens to players like Josh Gordon, Martavis Bryant, and Justin Blackmon who were suspended indefinitely for marijuana? If they’re not reinstated, then there is a clear double standard. We saw Ricky Williams quit football in order to smoke weed; I’m sure he wishes he was playing in this era now. 

So now that you guys have the general outline of the agreement, let’s check in on the players’ reactions.

The Honey Badger seems like one of the few players that are happy about this deal despite its passing.

Humphrey takes my stance on this. I couldn’t have said it any better myself, honestly. There are good things about the deal and there are things that I don’t approve of. Humphrey is shocked that 500 players just did not care enough to vote.

Enron expressed his clear dismay. He got responses from Darius Leonard, who said that he was “heated” and Allen Robinson who described the deal as “freaking trash”.

Jenkins was much more diplomatic in his disapproval of the deal. He understands that the process took a course and that there’s nothing that can be done to change the outcome now.

Joe Mixon took to Instagram, posting on his story “Y’all boys crazy as hell, sold y’all soul for some weed. Straight clowns.”

I honestly believe that marijuana testing was a major factor in the majority of the players agreeing to this deal and that is sad. You should be able to conduct yourself like a professional at your job. If I failed a drug test at my day job, I’d be fired because it isn’t professional.

My thoughts on the deal:

I would have voted no. From a player’s point of view, I’m not getting enough benefits. I simply don’t agree with the marijuana testing, but I’ve already made my point clear on that. I don’t think there’s a need for a 17th regular-season game, and I absolutely hate the limit on hitting during practice. The only part of this deal that I agree with is the seven teams per conference in the playoffs.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

 

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