The NFL will have labor peace through 2030.
The league's players voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement by a close margin, 1019-959, putting a new 10-year deal in place.
Some ramifications of the new deal include:
- The playoff field can be expanded from 12 to 14 teams as early as next season.
- A 17-game season can begin as early as 2021.
- Teams cannot use both the franchise tag and transition tag this offseason.
A majority player vote was needed for the new deal to become reality after NFL owners voted to approve the new deal in February. Player voting concluded at 11:59 p.m. Saturday night, and the NFL Players Association tweeted Sunday morning that the players had voted in favor of the deal.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also issued a statement, saying in part, "We are pleased that the players have voted to ratify the proposed CBA, which will provide substantial benefits to all current and retired players, increase jobs, ensure continued progress on player safety, and give our fans more and better football."
Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey reacted on social media to the new collective bargaining agreement being approved. Humphrey understood why the voting was close, but he couldn't understand why some players chose not to vote.
It was clear that feelings among the players were divided, and several high-profile players like Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers, J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans and Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks said they were not in favor of the deal.
However, most players felt the positives outweighed the negatives. The new deal includes higher minimum salaries for players, improvements to benefits for former and current players, expanded rosters and practice squads, and changes to the league's discipline and drug policies.
Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network tweeted that the new deal could have an impact on this year's draft, because the new CBA eliminates suspensions for positive drug tests and limits the testing period. The draft stock of players who tested positive for marijuana in college may not be as negatively impacted.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the new CBA increased the new salary cap for 2020 to $198.2 million.