NFL Owners Accept New CBA Proposal amid Buzz of 17-Game Season, Playoff Changes

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2020

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 19: A detail view of the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE logo on the goal post stanchion before the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
David Eulitt/Getty Images

The NFL is one step closer toward getting a new collective bargaining agreement after the league's owners accepted the terms of the latest proposal.  

In a memo from the league obtained by ESPN's Adam Schefter, the NFL announced its membership "voted to accept terms on the principal elements of a new collective bargaining agreement."

Tom Pelissero of NFL Network provided details from the owner-approved proposal:

According to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network, players would no longer be subject to a suspension for testing positive for THC under the latest proposal. Garafolo noted the testing period would span only two weeks, with the nanogram limit increasing from 35 to 150.

Per ESPN's Dan Graziano, the next step in the process will include a vote on the CBA proposal by NFL Players Association player reps during a conference call Friday. If at least two-thirds of the reps approve the terms of the new CBA, it will move to a full player vote.

Per Schefter, Thursday's vote with all 32 team owners wasn't unanimously approved. 

The initial agreement comes in the wake of Schefter reporting the proposed CBA would expand the playoff field from six to seven teams in each conference and increase the regular-season schedule to 17 games. 

The proposed 17-game schedule wouldn't be in place until 2021 if the CBA is approved. Pelissero noted how players who signed contracts under a 16-game schedule would be compensated for an additional game:   

Per Mark Maske of The Washington Post, the league will "probably" move forward with the expanded playoffs regardless of the CBA vote since the owners don't believe they need player approval for that change. 

NFLPA president Eric Winston tweeted after the league's vote that "no deal is finalized until the players vote."   

The NFL's current playoff format with six teams in each conference has been the norm since 1990. The new format would give only the team with the best record in each conference a bye into the divisional round and deliver six games during Wild Card Weekend. 

The NFL's active collective bargaining agreement was signed in July 2011, ending a four-month lockout. The 10-year pact runs through the 2020 season.  

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