The New NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement Has Been Approved. Here Are All the Major Changes

Texans Chiefs Football, Kansas City, USA - 12 Jan 2020 Kansas City Chiefs players, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif (76), Damien Williams (26), and Austin Reiter (62) look on as Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) gestures during an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Houston Texans in Kansas City, Mo 12 Jan 2020
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The National Football League is set to have labor peace through 2030 after NFL players voted to approve a new collective bargaining agreement ahead of the start of the 2020 league year. The NFL Players Association announced the results of the vote, with a majority of the players voting 1019-959 to approve the new CBA.

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The owners of the 32 NFL teams previously voted to approve the deal in February and the last part of the process was a 10-day voting period for players. The new agreement will be in place for over a decade, introducing a 17-game schedule as well as more playoff teams. The new CBA will also see increased revenue for the players moving forward.

“I think that’s something we knew, that it would be close,” new NFLPA president JC Tretter said to ESPN. “We understand that not all deals are perfect, and we don’t take the gains we wanted, but couldn’t get, lightly. We now must unite and move forward as a union.”

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Here’s a rundown of all the key details—new rules, guidelines, and playoff formats—in the new CBA:

  • Increase from 16 games to a 17-game season: The new CBA approves a window from 2021-2023 for owners to expand the regular season by an additional game. The two sides still have to figure out the details about what a 17-game schedule will look like, but the players approved the overall idea of it.
  • Expanded playoffs with two extra teams: The playoff field could be increased from 12 teams to 14 teams as soon as the 2020 season. The new format will include seven teams in each conference, up from six, and there will be three wild-card teams per conference and six total playoff games over the first week of the NFL postseason.
  • The players will get more of the NFL’s revenue: For the 2020 season, the players will be getting 47 percent of all league revenue, but in 2021 the players will start receiving 48 percent of the revenue. According to the NFLPA, “if the league’s TV revenues increase by 60%, the players’ share of revenue increases to 48.5%. That share can climb as high as 48.8% if the league’s TV revenues increase by 120% or more.”
  • The NFL rosters will be expanded: The active game-day roster for players will now be expanded to 48 from 46, while practice squad roster will also expand to 12 players from 10 players in 2020 and 2021 and to 14 players beginning in 2022.
  • The preseason will be shorter: With the 17-game season coming soon, the preseason will be shortened from four games. Teams will play three preseason games, instead of four beginning in 2021 and the fourth week will turn into a bye week.

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