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NFL Players Approve New CBA, Ensure Labor Peace To 2030

The tampering period is set to begin today and free agency starts two days later.

NFL: JAN 30 Super Bowl LIV - NFLPA Press Conference Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There’s an awful lot of uncertainty in the world right now, and sports is not immune. The NFL, however, gave its fans the rare bit of positive news when word came down yesterday that NFL players narrowly approved a new collective bargaining agreement that’ll ensure labor continuity for another ten years.

The new collective bargaining agreement was barely passed with 1,019 “yes” votes and 959 “no” votes.

The new deal allows the owners to add a 17th regular season game between 2021 and 2023 (which means 2020 may be the last season with sixteen regular season games), increases the shared revenue percentage for the players, increases minimum salaries, adds roster and practice squad spots, removes the ability for teams to use a franchise and transition tag in the same offseason, creates a new veteran salary benefit to allow teams to re-sign veteran players without it counting against the salary cap, removes suspensions for positive marijuana test, decreases the suspensions for performance enhancing drugs and DUIs, and, most importantly and effective immediately, increases the number of playoff teams in each conference from six to seven.

If you want to read more about the specifics, check out Dan Graziano of ESPN’s article here.

What does this mean for today? Well, the new league year begins at 11:00 a.m. CDT. Teams have until then to assign their tags. After that, everyone without a contract officially becomes a free agent and the legal tampering period begins. Teams and free agents have two days to negotiate contracts before they can officially begin signing new deals on Wednesday.

Those first two days of free agency are generally when absurd dollars get tossed around and big name free agents are signed. Ater that, the market settles down some and things make more sense again.

For the Texans, who have to improve their pass defense even after inking Bradley Roby to a three-year extension, finding an impact pass rusher seems like the first order of business. It will be interesting to see what Houston does.

Check back later today and follow along in our “Legal Tampering: Day One” thread” here at Battle Red Blog.