NFL players vote to approve CBA, 17-game season and expanded playoffs on horizon

The National Football League will have 10 years of labor peace. 

The players voted to approve the proposed CBA Saturday night. The new CBA will take effect starting in 2021 and will run until 2030. A simple majority of the players need to vote "yes" for the proposed deal to go through. The final vote was 1,019 to 959, the NFLPA released in a statement. There are roughly 2,500 players in the players union, so an estimated 79.1% of the players voted on the CBA. 

Under the proposed CBA, 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 expanded playoff is expected to begin in 2020. The salary cap will be $198.2 million per club for 2020. 

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. 

"This result comes after a long and democratic process in accordance with our constitution," the NFLPA released in a statement. "An independent author received submitted ballots through a secure electronic platform, then verified, tallied and certified the results." 

With the approval of the CBA, only one tag can be used this offseason, instead of teams having the option to use the franchise and transition tag. Higher minimum salaries will also take affect this season. THE NFLPA would have to sign off on delaying the start of the league year, which is scheduled for March 18. 

"We are pleased that the players have voted to ratify the new CBA," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "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. We appreciate the tireless efforts of the Management Council Executive Committee and the NFLPA leadership, both of whom devoted nearly a year to detailed, good faith negotiations to reach this comprehensive, transformative agreement." 

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