The NFL will have a resolution to the new collective bargaining agreement within a week. Per multiple reports, the league and the NFL Players Association have finalized a draft of the new CBA that will be sent to the players to vote starting Thursday. The players will have a week to vote on the new CBA, meaning the NFL will know if it has a new CBA in place by March 12.
There are around 1,900 members in the players union, with just a simple majority of votes needed for the CBA to be ratified.
CBS Sports obtained a copy of the proposed CBA last week, with some of the highlights regarding the changes to the NFL schedule if the agreement is ratified. The NFL will increase the season to 17 games (from 16) and the addition of an extra team to the playoffs in each conference. The 14-team playoff would have the top seed earning a first-round bye while seeds No. 2 through No. 7 would play on Wild-Card Weekend.
The 17-game schedule could start as early as 2021 with the 14-team playoff taking effect as early as 2020. With the expansion of the schedule, the preseason will be reduced from four weeks to three as the fourth preseason week would become an extra bye week for the players.
The active game day roster will expand from 46 to 48 players as practice squads will expand from 10 to 12 players in 2020. That number will increase to 14 players starting in 2022 (including between two and four players with unlimited accrued seasons per team). Also starting in 2021, the annual player revenue will increase from 47 to a minimum of 48% which can go as high to 48.8% with a "media kicker" from the new television deal.
The NFL offseason has been on a temporary hold with the new CBA not yet in place. The league will know where it stands by March 12 at 11:59 p.m., just four days before the league's "legal tampering period" where clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with, the certified agents of players who will become unrestricted free agents.