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Owners approve 17-game schedule, more playoff teams in proposed CBA

Now it’s up to the players’ union to determine if this agreement will go on to all NFL players in search of a simple majority to pass.

Oakland Raiders v Denver Broncos Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The NFL owners said yes to a 17-game schedule, a three-game preseason and an expanded field for the playoffs but also a bigger revenue share for players as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that the NFL Players Association reps will discuss today.

The owners met in New York Thursday to vote on the new CBA and send to the NFLPA for consideration.

If at least two-thirds of the 32 team player reps vote to accept the agreement, then it will go before all players to get a simple majority to become the new agreement over the next 10 years.

If the NFLPA passes it, this could “potentially lead to 10 years of labor peace,” according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

But there’s a lot of question whether the players will approve it. Many are not thrilled about the 17-game schedule, including former Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders was traded to the 49ers midseason - before Denver had its bye but after San Francisco had one.

So Sanders didn’t get a break for 17 weeks.

“It was definitely tough,” Sanders told Pro Football Talk. “If the NFL wants to change the season to 17 games they should ask me, and I say no.”

Niners teammate Richard Sherman, who has also been outspoken against the longer schedule, took to Twitter to air his frustrations.

Even TexansJ.J. Watt seemed highly dissatisfied.

But players would receive an improved revenue split under the new CBA, something owners hope will tip the scales toward passing the agreement.

In the new CBA, the players’ share in team revenue would increase from the current 47 percent over 16 games to 48 percent if the league stays at 16 games. But it would jump to 48.5 percent if/when a 17-game schedule is approved.

Pelissero estimates this will mean about a $2.5 - $3 billion net gain for the players over the next 10 years if the schedule stays at 16 games. But if the schedule moves to 17 games, the revenue share could shift to more than $5 billion.

NFLPA had wanted to get that increase without having to give in to the expanded season, but the owners aren’t budging on the added games.

Some other notable changes:

The number of playoff teams per conference would expand from 12 total to 14 total. With the additional team, only the No. 1 seed in each conference would get a bye that first week of playoffs.

The active squad roster will increase by one offensive lineman

Fifth-year options would be fully guaranteed and tied to performance

No game suspensions strictly for testing positive for marijuana

A reduced number of players tested for marijuana

Part of the gambling revenue brought in by the NFL will go to players

Training camp will have a “5-day acclimation period,” plus only 16 days of practice allowed to be in pads

Joint practices limited to four if in a three-preseason games scenario

As a fan of the game, an extra week of meaningful football seems like a no-brainer, but I empathize with Sanders and Sherman and Watt...recovery time for these guys is crucial - especially the older they ag.

What do you think Broncos Country?


Is a 17-game schedule with one less preseason game a good idea?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Yes, MOAR football!
    (247 votes)
  • 34%
    Nah, it’s all about the money; just stick to what we have
    (268 votes)
  • 34%
    Only if you have two bye weeks built in
    (272 votes)
787 votes total Vote Now

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