The NFL owners have unanimously approved the new CBA deal and settlement terms. It will ensure 10 years of labor peace in the NFL and settle all outstanding lawsuits. Now, it on the players to not only ratify the agreement, but also reform as a union. The owners' approval of the new deal in contingent on the players reforming their union.
"We are pleased to announce that our clubs have approved the terms of a long-term negotiated agreement with the NFL players," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "It includes many positive changes that emerged from a spirit of compromise rooted in doing what is best for the game and players. DeMaurice Smith and his team, and the players and owners involved in the negotiations, deserve great credit for their skill and professionalism. If approved by the players, this agreement will allow the league and its players to continue to benefit from the NFL's popularity and will afford a unique opportunity to deliver to fans an even better, safer, and more competitive game in the future.
Reports are that the players have an 8pm conference call scheduled at which point they could vote to approve the deal as well. NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith literally jumped into the live shot ESPN was doing as they were reporting the news and said that the league was sending over the deal they just approved.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke with the media minutes after the deal was approved and said that clubs will open their doors to players this Saturday and they are prepared to start a new league year on Wednesday, but that is conditional on the players re-constituting as a union. Reportedly, players will be allowed to sign their union cards on Saturday at their teams' facilities as part of the process to reconstitute the union.
Also, the Hall of Fame game has been officially canceled.
Here are the outlines of the deal the owners voted on today.
- The details are basically what we've heard.
- The cap will be $120 million with a $106 million floor.
- Veterans will earn free agency after four years.
- Players will get 48% of league revenue.
- Rookie contracts will be four years with a team option for a fifth.
- Rookie salaries will be lowered and there will be a cap on rookie spending.
- Training camps will start later and there will be no more full contact two-a-day practices.
- OTAs will be reduced from 14 to 9.
The only possible stumbling block now is that the players must reconstitute as a union and some players reportedly do not want that. However, they only need a majority of the vote to do so.