NFL owners will meet in New York on Thursday to discuss the status of labor negotiations with the NFL Players Association, NFL Network’s Michael Silver reported Wednesday. The players will discuss the owners’ proposal via conference call on Friday, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero added.
If all goes well during the next 48 hours or so, Silver added, a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the NFLPA could be ratified before the start of the new league year on March 18.
The new deal, however, would be predicated on implementing a 17-game regular season that would launch between 2021 and 2023, Silver reported.
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Adding a game to the regular-season schedule has been a point of contention between the sides. Some players — including 49ers receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who played 17 regular-season games this year because of a midseason trade — have already spoken out strongly against it.
The central issue throughout negotiations has been the revenue split, and players are expected to receive an uptick from the 47 percent of total revenue they are guaranteed under the current CBA, which was approved in 2011, Pelissero and NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported in January. The union has long hoped to achieve that increase without adding games, but the league has pushed all along for a lever that would allow them to add games as part of the next TV deal.
The CBA, if agreed to in the next month, could go into effect in time for the new league year, potentially altering the salary cap and state of free agency, among other things.
The league, the NFLPA executive committee and player representatives were scheduled to meet Thursday in Washington, D.C., as Rapoport and NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported last week.
The current CBA between the NFL and the NFLPA expires following the 2020 season.
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