The individual player representatives from the NFL Players Association approved the NFL's amendments to the collective bargaining agreement, clearing the path for a 2020 season, the union announced on Friday. The vote was 29-3 in favor of the proposed amendments.
Part of the deal includes keeping this year's salary cap at $198.2 million and setting a minimum cap of $175 million for 2021.
Albert Breer of The MMQB reported Friday the latest proposal represents a $10 million increase of next year's cap from the league's previous offer. Any further financial deficit created by the coronavirus pandemic would be spread across the following four years (2022-25).
The sides were working to sort out the final details of an agreement with training camps scheduled to open as early as next Tuesday. The NFLPA executive committee announced it unanimously voted to recommend the changes to the player base:
The NFLPA previously informed the players there wouldn't be any preseason games, another victory in negotiations as players attempt to limit exposure risk amid the coronavirus pandemic until the start of the regular season in September, according to NFL Network.
Other topics still being worked on were the length of the acclimation period early in training camp, opt-out rights for players and how to handle payout of contracts based on whether they are guaranteed.
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
Clarity on this point on base salaries: Any amount not paid in 2020 becomes guaranteed in the future year for the player. Just won’t be paid right now. If a player is a free agent, there is a pool of money from the NFL to make up any shortfall in future contract. https://t.co/o6zqQFEdRS
With the final hurdles cleared, the odds of getting the 2020 season underway as scheduled have improved markedly.
Week 1 is set to take place beginning Sept. 10 as the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans.
The regular season will run through Jan. 3 followed by the playoffs, which will conclude with Super Bowl LV on Feb. 7 if everything remains on schedule
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell previously said the league was "prepared to make adjustments" if issues arise because of the pandemic after the offseason took place in a virtual format.