Tuesday, the NFL moved another step closer to avoiding a work stoppage after the 2020 season.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, 17 of the 32 player representatives approved the new collective bargaining agreement that NFL owners agreed to last week. 17 of 32 is hardly a unanimous decision, but as Florio noted, at least 17 player representatives needed to approve the proposed CBA to have it move forward. That's exactly what happened.
What happens next? Per Florio, 50 percent plus one of the members of the NFLPA will need to agree to the new CBA for it to ultimately pass. Clarence Hill of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram says that the NFLPA is "seriously split" on whether to agree to the new CBA, adding that the NFLPA wasn't able to get any additional wins added into the proposed CBA that NFL owners had already pushed through.
The most drastic change that's expected to be included in the new CBA is the addition of a 17th regular season game. The NFL has played 16 regular season games since 1978. With a 17th regular season - a rule change that would go into effect in 2021, the first season of the proposed CBA - the NFL will eliminate one preseason game. That would mean there would be three preseason games prior to the 17-game regular season.
Last week, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the NFL would also add an additional postseason team in each conference. This would mean that seven teams in both the AFC and NFC would reach the playoffs, and 14 teams total would play in the postseason. Currently, six teams from each conference and 12 teams total reach the postseason. Rather than the top two seeds in each conference having a first-round bye in the postseason, only the No. 1 seed would get a bye in this new scenario, one that there's evidence may go into effect in 2020, the final season of the current CBA.
The new CBA is expected to include a slew of other provisions, including changes to roster size and the league's Marijuana policy.