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NFL CBA Negotiations: Latest News, Rumors, Speculation on Labor Talks

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 01:  NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft on the podium following Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Patriots defeated the Seahawks 28-24.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The National Football League Players Association has reportedly received multiple overtures from NFL owners in recent months about discussing terms of a new collective bargaining agreement well before the current one is set to expire in 2020.

ESPN's Dan Graziano reported Saturday the owners are looking for an infusion of stadium credits as the league considers new facilities in Las Vegas for the Oakland Raiders. The credits would also potentially go toward a new stadium in San Diego for the Chargers.            

The NFLPA is open to the idea of negotiating at this stage, but it would likely expect "significant concessions" from the owners in order to sign a CBA, per Graziano.

Michelle Rindels of the Associated Press reported Friday that Nevada lawmakers "approved a hotel tax increase that would put $750 million in public money toward an NFL stadium." Las Vegas Sands founder Sheldon Adelson ($650 million) and both the Raiders and the NFL ($500 million) would provide the rest of the funds for the projected $1.9 billion Vegas stadium.

"All parties have worked extremely hard to develop and approve this tremendous stadium project that will serve as a proud new home for the entire Raider Nation," Raiders owner Mark Davis said, per Rindels.

John Breech of CBSSports.com noted the situation is now in the owners' hands, as three-fourths of them need to approve relocation. They are set to meet next week and could schedule a special meeting to vote on the matter—as they did to make the Rams' move to Los Angeles official.

It's unclear how the availability of stadium credits could impact the vote. In 2011, prior to the construction of Levi's Stadium, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reported the league had three credits in the CBA it could use instead of a "formal stadium-loan program."

Meanwhile, it's uncertain how much the NFLPA would demand to seriously consider a new agreement. The power Commissioner Roger Goodell has in terms of player discipline is one issue guaranteed to become part of the conversation.

In 2015, Cincinnati Bengals offensive lineman and NFLPA President Eric Winston told Mark Maske of the Washington Post that's one area in which the players won't back down.

"It would be hard to imagine any new deal if there's not a change," Winston said. "I can't imagine taking a new deal back to the players and say personal conduct isn't going to change."

Goodell came under fire for his handling of multiple discipline cases in recent years, most notably the Deflategate case involving New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

One thing neither group will want is a repeat of 2011, when the owners imposed a four-month lockout while the sides worked toward a new deal. They were able to sign an agreement before the start of the season, though.

That said, the current deal still has multiple years left, and it sounds like the players are going to leverage that time to their advantage in any negotiations.

                                                               

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