On Sunday, March 15th, the NFL and the NFLPA (players association) agreed to a new CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) that would run through 2030. 1,019 players voted yes and 959 players voted no for the new deal. The new NFL CBA included changes to the pre-season regular season and playoffs. It also includes roster size and an increase in salary. Players voting yes likely kept there from being a work stoppage in the future. As we get adjusted to the new look, here are the notable changes in the new NFL CBA.
Notable Changes In The New CBA
Increase In Salary
This part of the CBA mainly helped minimum-contract players. The minimum salaries of players with less than one-year of NFL experience will go up from $510,000 to $610,000. Over the years, the minimum salaries will keep increasing and it will be $1.1M by 2030. By 2030, players with one-year of experience will have a $675,000 minimum and players with seven or more years of experience will have a new minimum of $1.1M. Both will also increase to above $1M by 2030.
The roster size of teams will increase from 53 active players to 55 active players. They can also have 14 practice squad players instead of 11. Also, practice squad players could be more compensated. This will benefit teams a lot on game day and benefit the players looking for jobs.
Shortened Preseason And Longer Regular Season
This is one of the biggest changes in the new CBA. Likely starting in 2021, the league will have a 17-game regular season instead of a 16-game season. When this happens, the preseason will be shortened from four games to three games. Some players won’t like it because they will have one more game to damage their bodies. On the other hand, fans will love it because they get one less game of meaningless football and one more game of regular season football.
The biggest change of them all is playoff expansion. The change will start this upcoming season. Seven teams will now make the playoffs from each conference instead of six and there’ll be only one by week per conference. This means there will be a total of six wild-card games which is crazy to think. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Rams would’ve made the playoffs under this format. It will be weird for sure but more playoff games equals more revenue and more eyes on football.
The changes to the schedule and playoff format will certainly take time to get used to but it’ll be accepted from fans in no time. Some other changes under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement include all players seeing an increase in money, changes to the drug-testing policy and changes to rookie contracts, which might impact draft choices. There are certainly more changes to talk about but these are the main ones to watch out for. A new era is set to begin in the NFL with these changes. Free agency starts soon and the NFL Draft is near. Football activities will begin soon and people can’t wait for the new season to start.
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