NFL owners on Thursday agreed to the terms of a new collective bargaining agreement, sending the negotiated deal back to the NFL Players Association for a vote. The owners, in a statement, said that they want a deal done by the NFL Scouting Combine next week — and threatened to move forward under the final year of the previous CBA if it isn’t.
“Following more than 10 months of intensive and thorough negotiations, the NFL Players and clubs have jointly developed a comprehensive set of new and revised terms that will transform the future of the game, provide for players — past, present, and future — both on and off the field, and ensure that the NFL’s second century is even better and more exciting for the fans,” the league said in statement.
“The membership voted today to accept the negotiated terms on the principal elements of a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The Players Association would also need to vote to approve the same terms for there to be a new agreement.
“Since the clubs and players need to have a system in place and know the rules that they will operate under by next week, the membership also approved moving forward under the final year of the 2011 CBA if the players decide not to approve the negotiated terms. Out of respect for the process and our partners at the NFLPA, we will have no further comment at this time.”
The new CBA reportedly includes a 17-game regular season and seven playoff teams from each conference, up from six.
Earlier Thursday, NFLPA president Eric Winston preached patience.
“There has been a flood of information on the potential of a new CBA,” he wrote on Twitter. “To our players: your player leadership has been working tirelessly. This is a business deal and no deal is finalized until the players vote.”